Category Archives: Venue

Wedding: Emma & Katie

Emma and Katie’s Georgia wedding was our kind of day: featuring some top-notch dancing, donuts, AND cake. Watch their video here, and be prepared to cry. Their vows are pretty amazing. As for their message on the blog, they kept it simple.

From the bride & broom: It was the best day of our lives and the most fun we’ve ever had (and we have a lot of fun)! 

Photos courtesy of Cassie Xie Photography.

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Event Credits

Attire: suit: Bindle and Keep; dress: Mikaella Bridal; Katie's shoes: Cole Haan; Emma's shoes: BHLDNCakes and Dessert: Revolution DonutsCatering: Bold American EventsFlorist: Bold American EventsLocation: Marietta, GeorgiaOfficiant: Rabbi Steve LebowOther: hair/makeup: Veronica Sitterding; videography: JP FrameworkPhotography: Cassie Xie PhotographyPlanner or Event Designer: day-of coordinator: Grace Freeman, Lionhearted EventsVenue: The Brickyard, Marietta
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Wedding: Patricia & Arielle

It’s not every day that we get to feature a wedding with the SAME THEME as our blog!

From Patricia and Arielle’s photographers, Simply K Studios: Patricia and Arielle walked into our studio on June 26, 2015, the historic day that our Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. I’m not sure I could have been more excited to hear their story and listen to their wedding plans! From that first day, I knew these two would have an amazing wedding, and we couldn’t be happier for them.

From Patricia: Eight years ago, I started my nursing career at a children’s hospital where I met Arielle who had already been a nurse for two years. If you ask her, it was love at first sight, but for me, I had just gotten out of a long relationship and was not ready to date again. For two years we became the best of friends. We were inseparable from day one, doing everything from baseball games to hiking/biking to cuddling up watching our favorite movies. I began to wonder why I couldn’t go a day without talking to or seeing —and finally I came to my senses and realized my feelings had grown into so much more than a friendship. I’ll never forget that evening when I told her how I felt and the smile on her face.

Six years have flown by, with ups and downs along the way, but we have always come out stronger than ever. We bought our dream house and dream dog and started our lives together. There were talks of getting married and days of ring shopping, but we knew we wanted to keep the proposals a surprise. I proposed to Arielle one night while we were playing Scrabble (her favorite game). She had no idea it was coming since we had spent all day doing yard work. I hid the ring in the letter bag while she wasn’t looking, and to my surprise it took almost the entire game for her to pull it out. Before I knew it, I was in front of her, asking her to spend her life with me. Lucky for me, she said  yes!

Arielle proposed to me two months later after I had gotten back from a trip to Minnesota. She had put together a sign of glow-in-the-dark stars with my family and cut a Harry Potter book (my favorite series to date) to the chapter “The Unbreakable Vow” for the ring box. When we lay in bed that night and the lights went out, “Marry Me” was glowing above us, and there she was with the book and ring. It was my idea of the perfect proposal.

Wedding planning wasn’t always easy, but our visions were on the same page. We chose a bicycle theme, which fit because of our love of the outdoors and biking, as well as our adventure tandem biking the Golden Gate Bridge. We found a few old bikes at a shop and restored them as decorations, as well as borrowing a vintage bike from our friend for pictures. Our personal touches were on every aspect of the day: from table settings with coffee in hand-stamped burlap bags as favors to the room lit up with tea lights and mason jar lights, and our Oreo dessert bar (my favorite dessert!). We wrote our entire ceremony (with a little help from the internet LOL), which was performed by one of our best friends, and when we exchanged vows, it was that fairytale moment, filled with excitement to start a new chapter in our lives together. Our wedding day was more than we could’ve hoped for, surrounded by everyone we love.

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Event Credits

Attire: Maggie Sottero, La SposaCatering: Farmington GardensDate: 04/15/2016Location: Farmington Gardens, Farmington CTMusic: Mike ConnellyPhotography: Simply K Studios, www.simplykstudios.comVenue: Hillstead Museum (photo location) and Farmington Gardens (ceremony and reception)
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Wedding: Amy & Laura

From Claire of Wed in Central Park, Amy & Laura’s wedding planner: Amy and Laura brought twenty-seven of their close friends and family from Newcastle, Australia to get married in Central Park in April 2015.  They had their wedding ceremony in the Ladies’ Pavilion, which overlooks the lake with a backdrop of water, trees, and then the iconic New York skyline above.  They had acoustic guitar accompaniment to their ceremony, and a reception at The Cube at Riverpark, which overlooks the East River.

The couple met when Laura got a temping position at Amy’s work in January 2012.  Amy’s proposal to Laura was quite an elaborate one.  She did it one night when Laura had been working late.  Amy went home and laid candles around the house and rolled up a note with a quote from Dr Seuss: “You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.”   She tied it to a ribbon and placed it around their cat’s neck.  Then she tied the engagement ring to a ribbon and put it around the other cat’s neck.  When Laura came home, Amy got down on one knee and presented her with the note. As she read it, Amy asked her to marry her.  Of course, she said yes!

When they started discussing wedding options they agreed that they wanted to combine a destination wedding with a big trip taking in some major sights in the US.  They visited LA, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, New York and Las Vegas on their travels.  Originally they discussed getting married in Las Vegas, but they decided that it did not feel quite right for them. They wanted to get married somewhere beautiful, so they settled on Central Park in New York.

So, they had made their decision on the wedding ceremony location, but then they said that they had no idea where to start.  It turned out that I had planned the wedding of a friend of theirs in the fall of 2012. That friend suggested they get in touch with me, so they did, and we took things from there.  

Their wedding ceremony was held in the middle of the afternoon.  We arranged for an acoustic guitarist to be playing for their guests while they waited for the two brides to arrive.  The Ladies’ Pavilion is at the end of a pathway, with trees on either side of it, so this works very well as a kind of aisle for brides to walk down.  These brides arrived together, and they walked down the pathway to the guitarist singing “Only You Can Love Me This Way” by Keith Urban.

After they were pronounced married the guitarist played “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran while they signed the paperwork. Then, he continued to play other pieces while they took group photographs close to where they had held the ceremony.  Laura and Amy said that their favorite pictures were taken around the Ladies’ Pavilion and also overlooking Bow Bridge amongst the cherry blossoms.  The blossoms can come anytime from the end of March until sometime in May—it all depends quite when it starts to warm up in New York City—so they were lucky to see the trees in full bloom on their wedding day.  

After the wedding ceremony, the guests had some photographs taken in Central Park, then went on to the reception location.  Laura and Amy stayed on for a little longer to have some more photographs taken in different locations around Central Park.  Then after that they went off to their reception location, Riverpark in The Cube room.

Photos courtesy of Andy Mars Photography.

Event Credits

Location: Central Park, NYCPhotography: Andy Mars Photography
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Wedding: Dalene & Victoria

From Dalene & Victoria: We’ve been together five years! We married six months ago, in October. It rained for the first time in ages in California, so we had to tarp our sunset wedding. But it was perfect! Our ceremony setup was unusually intimate, so it was as though we were close to our guests, who we asked not to stand when we proceeded down the long stairs to our altar. It was a perfect day celebrating our union with our 75 closest friends and family members! 

Photos courtesy of From the Daisies Photography.

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Event Credits

Date: 10/15/2016Location: Wave Street Studios, Monterey, CAPhotography: From The Daisies
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Engagement: Holly & Becky

From Becky: Holly and I met in the fall of 2005 when both of us were students studying music at Santa Barbara City College. We’re both singers, so we sang together in a couple of choirs at school, and eventually joined a few more choirs around Santa Barbara. I was in a relationship at the time, but I always felt something different when I was around Holly. We saw each other most days of the week and shared a lot of mutual friends, so as the years went by, we grew closer together. By early 2016, the timing was right and it was painfully obvious we liked each other. One night after hanging out with friends, she brought up the elephant in the room and we admitted feelings for each other. The rest, as they say, is history.

We got engaged in March 2017 in Santa Barbara, where we live. We’d been talking about getting engaged for a while, and even picked out rings together. I thought she might propose during a choir trip to Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day, but the trip came and went without a proposal. Then, the following weekend, we went hiking, which is a favorite pastime of ours (Santa Barbara has some of the best hiking trails in the world). The mountains around town are especially beautiful right now because of all the recent rain we’ve had after years of drought, so everything was covered in flowers, the nearby Lake Cachuma actually had water in it, and every square inch of ground was a vivid green.

We drove through the mountains to a trail that leads to Knapp’s Castle, an old ruin of a house that had been built there decades before but had since been abandoned. The views from it span both the Santa Barbara back country and the Santa Ynez mountains. When we got to Knapp’s Castle, I pulled out Holly’s phone to take a pano shot of our surroundings. She told me to take another one, and when I got to her about halfway through the pano, she was down on one knee! Well, obviously I ditched the phone and gladly agreed to marry her! We exchanged engagement rings on the top of a mountain, just the two of us, which is exactly what we both wanted.

We’re well on our way with planning our fall wedding, which will be here in Santa Barbara. In keeping with our passion for singing, the ceremony will include a choir of 50 or so of our closest singer friends.

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Event Credits

Location: Santa Barbara, CA
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Engagement: Nikki & Jojo

From Jojo: Nikki and I met in the middle of the ocean. Quite literally, actually. Jillian Michaels, America’s toughest trainer, held a fitness and wellness cruise in 2010. Being a fan of Jillian and someone into spending time on a boat to learn about fitness and wellness, I attended this cruise along with 1700 other people. [Sidebar: I’m also a fan of traveling alone—I suggest everyone try it once in their life!] To get everyone riled up for the next few days of learning and sweating, Jillian and her crew held “Deck Wars” as we left Miami—pretty much a fun competition of the strongest men/women on the boat. In the end of the strong woman squat-off, there was a girl who held a sumo squat for about five minutes with Jillian yelling in her ear. She had some pretty cool threads. Her sneakers were awesome. She had a presence on the stage. She was just badass! From that point on, that girl, Nikki, became the person to meet on that ship.

It was the next night, 80’s night, when our lives would change. I was eating alone in the cafeteria, dressed in a ridiculous 80’s outfit, and someone with a big rocker wig and a mid-riff shirt came up to me. She asked if I wanted to sit with her, her mom, and her friend. It was Nikki — she asked me to join her so I didn’t have to sit alone, and I gladly joined. We absolutely connected over food and fitness, and after the cruise we went back to our lives in Chicago and in Utah. Through the next months, we kept in touch. Eventually, she made her way to Chicago, and it went from there.

Once we started dating, I knew that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. We’ve been together for just about six years, and I’ve been planning this surprise proposal for a long time. With the global traveling that Nikki does as an international trainer, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to make amazing friendships around the world. I wanted these people, along with our friends and family, to be a part of the proposal. The concept was simple: before I gave Nikki the ring, I wanted to pass it along to the very people who love and support us every single day. And they would pass it on to one another, until it came back to me.

While she was on a work trip to New Zealand, I began executing my plan: I created an instructional Youtube video to explain how they should send in their video clips in January, sent out emails with deadlines, and began compiling the video as the clips came in. I setup a meeting with her boss at work to stage a fake work dinner at the venue, so she knew she had to show up. The venue was close to my office so I could go during my lunch hours to hammer out details and logistics. I worked with a jeweler in Chicago to pick the perfect stone and setting—without knowing exactly what her ring size is, we made sure it was just big enough to go past the knuckle. I hired my colleague to capture every surprise moment (she and her husband also run a wedding photography business). I flew in Nikki’s parents from Utah to be in on the surprise. Every detail was worked through during the time she was away.

We got to dinner with her work colleagues that evening. The venue greeted us at the door with wine and sat us down at our table. City Winery often offers tours of the winery (it’s the only winery in the city of Chicago), so we grabbed our drinks and went on the tour. First stop was their wine and barreling room, next stop: the upstairs private event space where everyone was waiting. As we walked up the stairs, I distinctly recall thinking that I should have put on more deodorant… As we turned the corner and saw the crowd, Nikki didn’t immediately register it was a crowd she knew. She thought, “Oh, there’s a party up here, we should probably go.”  And then she saw her father. Once she saw him, the waterworks started. Then she started to recognize more people: her mom, my mom, my brother, our closest and dearest friends. As we worked through the crowd, and I grabbed her hand and said, “It’s okay, I want to show you something.”

I pressed play on the video that I had worked on for months, and together with our friends and family, we watched as I handed the ring off to one side of the screen, and it was passed around the world, from one person to the next, screen to screen. When it got back to me at the end, I turned to her and said, “There are a million things I wanted to say at this very moment, but I can’t remember any of it, and I’m not even sure what words are coming out of my mouth. But all I know is that I love you, Nikki. Always have, always will. And it would be amazing to spend the rest of my life with you.”

I pulled the ring box out of my pocket, got down on one knee and looked up at the love of my life as I said, “Nicole Ann Snow, will you marry me?” Through the happiest of tears, she said “YES!” and I couldn’t get up fast enough to pull her in my arms and hug my future wife. Our friends and family shouted in joy as I slid the ring on her finger.

We spent the rest of the night celebrating our love, surrounded by the people who mean the most to us. It was absolutely a magical night. I pulled of the surprise of our lives and it couldn’t have been more perfect!

Now *that’s* a proposal! Watch Jojo’s video and footage of the big night here.

Photos courtesy of Adhikari Photography.

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Event Credits

Photography: Adhikari PhotographyVenue: City Winery Chicago
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Wedding: Laura & Louise

Over the years, we’ve featured plenty of Central Park weddings and engagement shoots, so we were thrilled when Claire got in touch with us to share Laura and Louise’s story. After her planning her own Central Park wedding, Claire started a whole business devoted to helping couples who want to tie the knot in the park. Here, she fills us in on English couple Laura and Louise’s big day.

From Claire, Laura & Louise’s wedding planner: Laura and Louise are from Sheffield in the North of England.  They met around fourteen years ago.  They were in the same hockey club and knew each other only a little at first, then they ended up playing on the same team and they got to know each other better.  This friendship became a romance, although love is often never as smooth as it should be: they spent some time apart as their lives took different courses for a while, but there was never a day when they would not be in touch in some way.

They got engaged in the middle of a fireworks display.  Louise asked Laura, with the aid of a ring Louise and Laura’s brother had made for the occasion.  Then they went together to get a proper one made specially.  They knew that they did not want a conventional wedding, so they looked in to several options of unique and unusual places to get married in England, such as a woodland center and an old factory.  Then they started to consider going abroad, and Laura casually suggested getting married in Central Park after she had remembered seeing it in a film.  After thinking it through more seriously, and comparing prices of venues at home to the cost of a destination wedding with built-in vacation, it seemed like no contest!  They contacted me, and we started to discuss their options.

We always get an event permit from the Central Park Conservancy for a wedding to ensure that there are no other wedding parties at the time and place where we want to hold a ceremony.  They chose the Ladies’ Pavilion, a lovely spot by the Lake on the West side of Central Park. The closest entrance to the Ladies’ Pavilion is the one right by John Lennon’s old home, the Dakota, at Central Park West and 72nd Street.

It is a very popular wedding location. There are seats inside and it has charming art deco cast-iron details.  It really matched their 1920s style outfits.  The Ladies’ Pavilion was originally built in the 1870s and used as a shelter for trolley passengers and was at Central Park’s 8th Avenue and 59th Street entrance, but it has been relocated to its current location. During the Winter the Ladies would change into their ice skates here, before skating on the lake, hence the name.  Laura and Louise had a lovely an iconic backdrop to the wedding, with the lake and the Manhattan skyline in the background.

There were seven guests in attendance at the wedding.  They had Laura’s Mum, Dad, brother and cousin, maid of honour and her boyfriend, and one friend from university who happened to be in America at the time.  We wrote a ceremony especially for the couple, and they wrote their own personal vows to read out to each other during the ceremony.  Laura’s brother, Adam, was their photographer.  After the ceremony they all travelled in the pedicabs to Bow Bridge and then on to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, and had more pictures taken there.  

Laura wore a Joy by Jenny Packham dress with Irregular Choice shoes.  Laura’s saw the dress on an episode of Don’t Tell the Bride.  She contacted the shop in the show, and found out the name and designer of the dress and stockists in her home town. She never even looked at or tried on another dress!  Louise wore a Vivienne Westwood shirt and tailored trousers. There were no flowers, although the boys in the group all wore waistcoats with some fab boutonnieres made from buttons.  Laura did her own makeup and hair after tutorials back home in England, Louise’s hair was styled by Laura, and their make-up was done by one of their guests.

The wedding ceremony took place at 1pm so the morning was spent enjoying a hearty breakfast and then getting ready.  After the ceremony, the party spent some time in Central Park taking photos, stopping off for a quick hot dog and snow cone from a vendor.  They then walked back through Central Park to their nearby hotel.  They were congratulated as they walked.  In the evening they all went for a celebratory meal to Sarabeth’s on Central Park South, which they tell me was amazing food with great service.  They had been notified that it was a wedding breakfast and they made a huge effort to make it special.  They finished off the day by changing into their pajamas and drinking champagne on the rooftop terrace of their hotel. The next morning Laura and Louise enjoyed a helicopter tour of the city, which had paid for by some of their family as a wedding gift.

Laura told me that one of the most amazing things about the day was how amazing the people were who happened to stumble upon their ceremony, and then afterwards as they took a stroll back through Central Park to their hotel.  They said that people were very friendly and complimentary, with so many people saying “Congratulations”, making nice comments on their outfits, and people stopping to talk to them about the ceremony and their plans for the rest of the day. They said that it made them feel really special.

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Also posted in Attire, Attire, Credits, Lesbian Elopement, Lesbian Real Wedding, Lesbian Wedding, Minimalist, New York, New York City, Pants + Dress, Planner and Event Design, Real Wedding Inspiration, Region, Style, United States, Urban | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments closed
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