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Real Weddings

August 8, 2014

Real Wedding: Eva & Jeff

Eva shares the tale of her and Jeff’s May wedding at Windows on the River in Cleveland, Ohio.

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My Vision: I wanted a simple and enjoyable day. It was all about gathering with loved ones and having a great time! My goal was to create a day that Jeff and I could celebrate with all our favorite people without feeling stressed and crazy. I wanted to take in the special moments as they happened, so I would have amazing memories. I wanted to keep with certain traditions but also to make our wedding unique and perfect for the two of us. At the end of the day, everything was without flaw, and we all danced the night away!

The Scene: It was a beautiful, sunny, 70-degree day in Cleveland. The room that held our ceremony and reception had high ceilings and tall windows that let in the natural light and provided gorgeous moonlight in the evening. The exposed brick and other architectural features made it the perfect place to display the fresh floral arrangements and romantic colors we had chosen.

Jeff and I had our first look outside the venue under an old stone bridge. It was a sweet time that we shared alone, before all the festivities really began. Jeff finally saw the dress that I had been anxiously waiting for him to see me in, and he was so handsome in his new blue suit. The ceremony was emotional and heartfelt as we shared our vows we had written to each other. We started the party off with cocktail hour outside on the patio as we listened to a live pianist with a view of the city in the background. There was delicious food, tear-jerking toasts and all kinds of dancing.

The best moment for me was standing back and seeing all the happiness and love around us and between us as the realization of our perfect day set in. Every little thing came together, and the two of us could not have been more thrilled.

My Dress: The team at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite was great in helping me find my gown and making it perfect. I went to the store for a Hayley Paige trunk show without any expectations of finding my dress on my first shopping trip. I had an open mind and wanted to try different styles to see what suited me. I was so excited with what Nordstrom had to offer, and my stylist helped me try everything I had in mind. She did a great job of making me feel comfortable and special as I quietly analyzed each dress.

After trying on about seven dresses, I tried the Hayley Paige ‘Guindon’ gown, and although it was interesting and fun, it did not make a great first impression. I took it off and moved to another. After thinking on it, I went back to the ‘Guindon’ to give it another try. After I explained that I loved everything about it except for the stripes, Hayley told me she could make it without the stripes. I was sold!

Bride: Hayley Paige ‘Guindon’
Bridesmaids: Amsale Crinkled Chiffon in Blush

The Wedding Suite: When it came to finding dresses for my bridesmaids, we loved the Amsale collection because the dresses came in so many different colors and styles. We picked the blush pink color, and then each bridesmaid chose the same dress in a slightly different style. The dresses were definitely the look I was going for, and I was glad to have found them at Nordstrom.

The process of fitting the dress was great, as I had complete trust that the alterations would make it just right. Natasha altered the dress so that it fit me perfectly. It was convenient being at Nordstrom and having the lingerie department so close. The manager came down to help me find a bra that would best work with my dress. The experience of going for fittings was exciting, as I couldn’t wait to get back into my dress each time!

Photos by Mindy Sue Photography

Last month, Racked hosted an Instagram contest for one lucky engaged couple to win a totally free Brooklyn wedding. The catch? They’d have to plan it all in less than one month. We were thrilled to be a part of this event and offer the bride the dress of her dreams. The winning bride, Jacqueline Berman, wore a gorgeous Heidi Elnora ‘Coco Marie’ gown, and she looked absolutely stunning. It was incredible to see the wedding coordinated on such short notice! See how the entire day unfolded over at Racked’s Wedding Week feature.

Photos by: Daniel Silbert

Erin Fetherston

Designer Erin Fetherston and musician Gabe Saporta’s wedding last spring was the epitome of a fairy tale affair—and we have the photos to prove it. As she’s known for a design aesthetic that’s rooted in romance and whimsy, we weren’t surprised by the gorgeousness of the event, but we were amazed to hear that she and her fiancé pulled it all together in a mere six months!

Erin Fetherston

Erin Fetherston

Held at St. Nicholas Abbey—a Jacobean mansion at a rum distillery in Barbados—Fetherston got the best of two worlds: the lush landscaping of the English countryside and the warm, tropical weather of a Caribbean island. Fetherston describes the property as a truly magical place with “beautiful, formal English gardens in the front yard, a lush gully of 100-foot tall trees in back.” As she tells it, even the drive to the site, with views of rolling fields of sugar cane, was incredible.

In fact, it was the landscape that ultimately influenced the design of her dress. Originally, Fetherston says, she didn’t want a dress with a lot of volume. “I was thinking I would have a very flowing dress, maybe with a long train. I wasn’t thinking about anything structured.” But after studying a lot of photos of the venue, she realized the importance of connecting the environment and the dress.

Erin Fetherston

Erin Fetherston

While Fetherston’s design was part of creating a fully realized experience, and although the English garden-style wedding inspired a specific style of gown, she emphasizes that every bride should have her own approach. If the dress is the first consideration, “choose a venue that goes with the dress,” she advises.


Erin Fetherston

Fetherston created a gorgeous, uniform aesthetic by always keeping her concept and the big picture in mind. One of the ways she achieved this was deciding on a color palette—not just for the decor, but her guests as well. “Instead of giving people a dress code, I gave them a color code for the wedding and for other surrounding events.” She describes how a harmonious color palette made the experience feel really special—and resulted in beautiful photos. But her unique approach didn’t stop with a color code.

In lieu of having official bridesmaids, she dressed every female guest in Erin Fetherston. “It was like the bridal party had no boundaries,” she says. Fetherston dived into her archives, pulling every dress that fit her chosen palette, and then invited her girlfriends to come choose their dresses. Looking back through her past collections, reflecting on her years as a designer and being married while surrounded by friends all wearing her designs gave even greater meaning to her wedding.

Erin Fetherston
Erin Fetherston
Erin Fetherston

With so much care and consideration given to every little detail, the results were truly spectacular. Thank you, Erin, for sharing your magical moments and beautiful day with The Wedding Suite Blog!

Erin Fetherston

Find Erin Fetherston dresses and intimate apparel online and in our Wedding Suites. We’re excited to announce that even more Fetherston designs (exclusive to Nordstrom!) will be arriving this September.

Noelia shares her and John’s elegant wedding and all the special moments that made it perfect—not to mention a beautiful wedding video. Better have some Kleenex nearby!

The Proposal: John and I met when we were both attending medical school at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. We quickly became best friends, and years later decided to start dating. He proposed to me on Christmas Eve 2012 with my parents and sister in tow. I was opening my last gift of the night, a necklace I had wanted, and was very surprised when I pulled the necklace out of the box only to find the ring drop to the bottom of the necklace! It quickly became the best Christmas present ever.

The Scene:
December 7th, 2013, San Antonio, TX
Ceremony at San Fernando Cathedral
Reception at Jack Guenther Pavilion at the Briscoe Western Art Museum

Our wedding theme was simple elegance. I was all about the details! Hints of red, white and black were seen all throughout our day. We chose the River Walk specifically because at that time of year, the entire place is lit up like a Christmas tree at night. December 7th turned out to be the coldest day in Texas that year (to the tune of 30 degrees), but it was an absolutely perfect day!

My Look: I wore the ‘Veronique’ gown by Matthew Christopher. My veil and tiara were both by Malis Henderson. Bridesmaids’ dresses were long, black, mermaid-style dresses by Joanna Chen. Our nieces wore sweet flower girl dresses from Nordstrom as well. I loved the flower petals within the skirts on the girls’ dresses!

My Wedding Stylist: Emily Nichols, Nordstrom, The Shops at La Cantera, San Antonio, TX

Emily was my fabulous stylist and helped me find the perfect dress. It was actually the first dress I tried on! I knew it was for me the minute Emily put a veil on me while I was wearing it and I immediately started crying. I will never forget that moment.

Shortly after I found my dress, my sister and sister-in-law went looking for bridesmaids’ dresses and found one within minutes. The store was almost sold out of it, but I was very thankful that Nordstrom did everything they could to make sure I had the right number of dresses in the right size. It was a seamless process! I wound up also getting all of my bridesmaids their wedding gifts at Nordstrom as well: Alex and Ani bracelets with their personal initials and white shawls to go with their dresses. My winter faux fur bolero jacket was also a Nordstrom purchase.

Our Favorite Moments: We have many! In no particular order…

All of the speeches given at our wedding were absolutely priceless. Guests had tears in their eyes practically the entire time (and I did too).

Right before we hit the dance floor to have our first dance, my husband accidentally stepped on my dress and ripped the train off of the bustle. Even so, I was able to use the loop to hold my dress up and felt like Cinderella the entire time we danced.

Our nieces and nephews stole the show many times on the dance floor. One of our absolute favorite moments was when they did an entire choreographed dance to “What Does the Fox Say?”

Reading my husband’s letter to me the morning of our wedding was incredibly touching (as seen in this video).

Personal Touches: My father, who is an absolute artist, hand-carved my wedding dress hanger himself. Also, I’m from Italy originally, so we had Italian cookies flown in from Ferrara Bakery & Cafe in New York—another special treat (pictured at top).

The gift I gave to my dad, a handkerchief from Italy that I embroidered with a special message, was another personal touch. We also loved our floral chandelier that our florist placed over the dance floor! Pictures don’t do it justice.

Photos by daVeck Studios

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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Lauren describes her New Year’s Eve wedding celebration in downtown Seattle.

The Scene: December 31, 2013, SODO Park in Seattle, WA

We knew a winter wedding was in our future, and with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season what better way to bring 2013 to an end than a New Year’s Eve wedding surrounded by all our family and friends. The warmth of SODO Park was perfect for this event. We wanted all 300 guests in one giant room so they could celebrate every moment with us.

We also wanted the overall feel of the night to be elegant and classic—from twinkly lights and wine bottles placed on tables to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong during cocktail hour. We also wanted the night to have the liveliness of a NYE party. Yes, dresses with sequins and sparkles were encouraged! Party hats were passed out, the music never slowed down and neither did the dancing.

Our Invitations: We took up the challenge of making our own invitations because we wanted something personal and one of a kind. The design was inspired by our love for champagne and, of course, the city that we love. We spent countless hours at our good friends’ house printing, cutting, gluing and folding each invitation piece by piece. One might think this was a little over the top, but to us they meant so much more in the end.

The Ceremony: We had Alex’s good friend Robert marry us. Neither one of us wanted a stranger to stand beside us and perform one of the most intimate ceremonies we would ever take part in. It was short, sweet and incredibly special.

My Dress: ‘Allie’ by Olia Zavozina

I went to only two boutiques to find my wedding gown. At the first one I was overwhelmed. I’m a very simple person: I don’t like to dig through racks, I don’t like to be overwhelmed and I’m very indecisive. My second stop was the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Seattle. I immediately found the dress I had to have. I pulled a few others to try on, but my eye was on the Olia Zavozina ‘Allie’ Duchess Silk Trumpet Gown. It was everything I wanted: clean, sexy and classic. I felt comfortable and that mattered most.

My Wedding Stylist: Kerrene Buford, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

My stylist, Kerrene, made everything incredibly easy for me. Having found my dress early on in the planning process, I was welcomed back many times to play dress-up and accessorize for the big day. Nordstrom is a one-stop shop for me and that’s what I love about it. From picking out my Vera Wang veil and Givenchy jewelry to finding the perfect sparkly gold kate spade flats, I always had someone there to help make my bridal dreams come true.

Photos by Kate Price Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Anne and Isaac share the inspiration behind their country wedding set on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Afton, Virginia.

02-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacThe Scene: September 21, 2013, in Afton, Virginia

The tradition in my family is to get married in the backyard of the bride’s parents house, which we did. We wanted an outdoor country wedding that was formal in look yet casual in feel. Our colors were grey and coral, though that was not a strict theme. Overall, we were able to achieve our goal. But, a day-long rainstorm on the day of the wedding meant some last-minute changes. We ended up getting married under the tent among the tables and chairs, with 250 guests finding shelter where they could. However, with our bright color scheme and our florist’s bright flower arrangements, the wedding ended up being beautiful, with the green landscape and misty Afton Mountain as a perfect backdrop to our bustling, cozy wedding under the tent. In the end, I actually liked the rainy setting and wouldn’t have changed a thing. It also made for some great pictures.

03-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn Magic Moments: My favorite part of the wedding was the dancing. We knew we wanted a wedding with lots of dancing, so we went with a funk/soul/motown band from Richmond called Class Act, and they were fabulous. Everyone from my college friends to my grandmother was on the dance floor for most of the night, grooving to “I Want you Back” by Jackson 5 and “This is How We Do It” by Montel Jordan. The focus was definitely on the dance floor, which was exactly what we wanted. Though I may have been a slightly sweaty bride, I was a very happy one!

01-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn the Dressy Details: My gown was ‘Guindon’ by Hayley Paige. For my hair, I purchased the Cara ‘Blushing Bloom’ Hair Pick in grey to match the sash on my dress. Though my bridesmaids wore grey dresses from J.Crew, their accessory (and gift from me) was an Echo striped shawl in coral, which was our other wedding color.

04-nordstrom-real-wedding-stories-Anne-and-IsaacOn Working with a Wedding Stylist: Nordstrom was the last stop on our wedding dress hunt that day, and we almost cancelled the appointment after finding a dress we liked elsewhere. However, my mom encouraged me to keep the appointment. I saw my dress the moment I entered the wedding suite, and it was the first dress I asked to try on. I ended up with five or six dresses in the dressing room, with Christa, my stylist, helping me try each one on. I was with my mom and my sister, and all of us liked Christa from the start for her honest, down-to-earth attitude. Wedding shops can feel stuffy or snooty, and Christa alleviated that stereotype. I tried on ‘Guindon’ either second or third, and it was the immediate frontrunner. I could tell it was a favorite of all the stylists who were working that day, and it ended up being an easy decision. We bought it right then and there.

Photos by Jack Looney of Charlottesville

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Alison recounts her and Doug’s classic, elegant wedding (with a dash of shabby chic) in southern Illinois wine country.

Doug and I both live in Chicago and met through a mutual friend in 2008. It was a Friday night and once we started talking, we were inseparable. We’ve been together ever since. We go to Lincoln Park Zoo for Zoo Lights every year, and in December 2012, Doug proposed in a quiet area of the zoo under the Christmas lights and made me the happiest woman.

We fell in love with the southern Illinois wine country while driving home after visiting family in Missouri in 2009. We stayed at a couple B&Bs and enjoyed many of the wineries. We always said we’d be back and even then knew it would be a great place to get married.

The Scene: September 7, 2013. St. Joseph Church | Historic Bell Hill Bed & Breakfast, Cobden, IL.

Fast-forward four years, and southern Illinois immediately became part of our vision for our wedding. We found a beautiful B&B called Historic Bell Hill in Cobden. It is an old Victorian house on a 75-acre estate with a barn that predates the Civil War—all overlooking wine country. It was our blank canvas and it spoke to us. Doug is an artist and I am a girl with a vision. We set up a tent and tables in the gardens so guests could enjoy the glorious night. Chandeliers, lanterns, sparkling lights and candles were everywhere. There was a hint of shabby chic in the air but mostly it was classic, romantic elegance.

My Dress: ‘Coco Marie’ by Heidi Elnora

I’m petite, so I didn’t want anything overwhelming. This dress fit my body like a glove. For the ceremony I wore the ‘Addison’ Chantilly lace top by Jenny Yoo over the dress; I had fallen in love with the top even before I found the dress. It wrapped around my waist and I wore my late grandmother’s rhinestone broach on the knot. After the ceremony I removed the top and wore the rose-colored ‘Treasure Sash’ by Olia Zavozina and the ‘Melaney’ ribbon and cluster bib necklace by Nina. I had two totally different looks with the same gown, and guests even asked me if I had changed dresses.

I decided to not wear a veil. The back of the dress was so exquisite I didn’t want to take away from it. My hair was up, and I wore an ivory flower pin by Nina. My heels were Badgley Mischka and my late-night flats were Nina. My bridesmaids wore Monique Lhuillier one-shoulder taffeta dresses in navy with pink Franco Sarto wedges. My girls were beautiful and comfortable.

My Wedding Stylist: Caitlin Ritzema, Nordstrom Michigan Avenue

I went to a couple other bridal salons but came running back to Caitlin. She was amazing during the search for my dress. She found one that looked amazing on me that I never would have picked out on my own. It seemed very simple on the hanger, and I almost said no without even trying it on. But it was the only one that made me say “Wow” when she began to zip me up and add accessories. My sister referred to it as the “Audrey Hepburn dress.” Doug likes my curves, and the dress accentuated them oh so well—sexy in a classy way.

The lace Jenny Yoo bolero was so elegant and complemented the vintage, chic feel of our wedding. It was very important to me to be able to dance all night in my dress, so the change of accessories—switching into the sash for the reception—made for another beautiful look. Caitlin made my experience so comfortable, fun and pressure-free. She helped style my bridesmaids, and every time I went in for an appointment, I felt like I was going to go hang out with my friend. I am very grateful to Caitlin for helping make my special day so beautiful, stress-free and fun.

My Beauty Stylist: Iris Brostowicz, Nordstrom Topanga, Canoga Park, CA

My Beauty Stylist was Iris Brostowicz in the cosmetics department. She was wonderful. She took so much time with me on multiple occasions to make sure I had the right makeup that would look beautiful in person and in photos. She has a background in photography, so she knew exactly how to highlight my best features. I wanted to look like myself, and—after trying on many different colors and products—we found the perfect look for me.

Special Moments:

Our friends and family are very important to us, and since they were all going to be traveling long distances to be there, we wanted to make it a beautiful, relaxing and unforgettable experience for all. We danced with our guests all night and had the time of our lives. It was more perfect than we could have imagined.


Photos by Julia Noack Photography.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

Sarah recounts her and Will’s Pacific Northwest wedding, complete with friends, family, beautiful memories and her homemade wine!

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The Scene: August 31, 2013, at Evergreen Gardens in Ferndale, WA

Will proposed to me on a perfect summer day in Walla Walla on August 31, 2012. He proposed to me with a stunning Bony Levy ring from Nordstrom, who we also used to make a custom wedding band to go with my engagement ring. When we began planning our wedding, we knew we wanted to relive that beautiful day with our family and friends, so we decided on an outdoor wedding a year to the day that he proposed.

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When we envisioned our day, we saw a day filled with love and fun for our family and friends and a style that reflected us as a couple. I consider myself to be relatively crafty, so making our own decorations and adding lots of little personal touches was a must.

Everything from our invitations to our wine was homemade. Over the last few years, my mom and I have been making homemade wine as a fun hobby. For the wedding, we made six different varietals. Each had a unique label that featured our engagement photos, favorite sayings and our two sweet kitties.

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One of my favorite moments was Will’s and my first look. Getting to see him looking incredibly handsome in his suit and seeing the look on his face when we saw me in my dress for the first time was unforgettable. It was wonderful to be able to steal a few moments out of the day to be with each other and truly feel like we were living in the moment.

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My Wedding Stylist: Katie Crittenden, Nordstrom Downtown Seattle

I had a great experience at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite in downtown Seattle. My stylist did a fabulous job picking up on my style and selected the perfect dress for me. Not only did she help me select the dress, she took fantastic care of all my family. The day was special to me not just because I was selecting my wedding dress, but also because my grandma was able to be there with me.

It was the last truly happy memory I have of her. A week later she was diagnosed with leukemia, and, after a hard-fought battle, she passed away a short month later. I’m forever grateful for the last wonderful day we had together and that she was able to see me in my wedding dress.

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On our big day, I wore a strapless lace gown with a sweetheart neckline by James Clifford. I absolutely loved the romantic beauty of lace. It’s such a soft feminine texture, which went perfectly with our romantic garden wedding theme. My shoes were Kate Spade ivory patent leather pumps with the cutest gold bows.

I didn’t want to wear a veil, because it felt too formal for our wedding, but I still wanted some sort of head piece for the extra glam. A friend suggested I look up Serephine and boy, did I fall in love. Her work is unique and gorgeous and was exactly what I was looking for. The best part about it was Nordstrom had recently started carrying her products in their Wedding Suites.

My favorite accessory was my necklace. It was a locket my grandpa had given to my grandma many years ago. He had it engraved with their initials and put a picture of the two of them inside it. It was such a sweet, special piece to wear and remember them as I was missing them both dearly on our wedding day.

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My bridesmaids wore two different styles of Donna Morgan chiffon strapless dresses from the Wedding Suite. The peachy color was perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. It was fun, fresh and provided a soft contrast to the lush green backdrop in our photos. My stylist and I also picked out simple, classic gold necklaces with a single pearl and gold earrings with two large drop pearls for them to wear. I gave the jewelry to the girls before the wedding as thank-you gifts for being with me on such an important day.

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Even the guys got in on the Nordstrom experience! We purchased Aldo brown leather shoes with some sharp details and polka dot socks for them to wear with their suits. Overall, our experience was incredible, and I’m so grateful for all the help and support my stylist, Katie provided throughout our wedding planning!

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Our wedding day was more perfect than we could have ever envisioned. We were blessed with a gorgeous Northwest summer day and the presence of our amazing family and friends. The day was filled with love, laughter, tears and joyous times.

Photography by Michael Stadler of Stadler Studios.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

February 24, 2014

Real Wedding: Tory & Bryan

College sweethearts Tory and Bryan head to Montana for a beautiful Big Sky wedding.

The Scene: August 11, 2013, at BruMar Estate in Bigfork, Montana

Bryan and I met in college in Chico, California, during our very first week of school. After almost seven years as a couple (much of it long distance), I decided to make the move to Montana, where Bryan is from. When we got engaged, we faced the question of where to hold the wedding: Montana or California (I was born and raised in San Jose).

At the time of our engagement, we had been living together for about a year and had absolutely fallen in love with a special town near Glacier National Park called Bigfork. This was one of the places where Bryan took me on my first visit to Montana, and it seemed fitting to hold our wedding in this amazingly beautiful location. Convincing my family took a little work—and a special visit to Montana—but when we all got a chance to visit BruMar Estate, we knew it was the perfect choice.

We came up with our wedding theme by finding a balance between the beautiful Montana outdoors and influences from my California upbringing. Our venue carried much of the natural beauty from the surrounding forest inside to the reception hall. We decided to accent the natural stone floors and fireplace with gunmetal-colored tables and simply designed ivory flower arrangements. I was lucky to have my older sister (and maid of honor) as the designer of much of our wedding decorations. We wanted to convey classic beauty that didn’t clash with the natural beauty around us.

It was important to Bryan to incorporate pheasant tail feathers into the boutonnieres, bouquets and outdoor bistro table arrangements as a memorial to his late father, whom he enjoyed pheasant hunting with as a child. We also wanted to ensure that we all got to have FUN! To kick off the party portion of the evening, the bridal party and father of the bride rocked out to the Kenny Loggins classic “Footloose.” This got all our guests out on the dance floor, and we couldn’t have had any more fun. Our guests also had a chance to play lawn games throughout the evening.

To incorporate some Golden State influence, we had all-California wines available to guests as well as Korbel champagne from northern California. We also named our “his and hers” signature cocktails after the state flowers California poppy and bitterroot. For dinner, we served surf and turf, pairing local Montana beef with a citrus halibut dish that was very Californian.

Bryan and I both felt incredibly lucky to be surrounded by our 100 guests in a location that required travel from many of them. While we had many special moments that day together, our favorite was that we got to spend the first and last dance of the night alone on the dance floor. We will both remember this as truly the best day ever!

My Wedding Stylist: Danielle Oxford, Nordstrom Valley Fair in San Jose, CA

Shortly after Bryan and I got engaged, I made a trip back to the Bay Area to begin dress shopping. After a few appointments, my family and I decided to stop in at the Wedding Suite at the San Jose Nordstrom location. We didn’t have an appointment; we just wanted to see what was available there. Luckily, my style consultant Danielle and another member of the team had about an hour to fill and they were able to squeeze us in! I kept noticing a gown on the rack that was unlike anything I had seen in any magazine or in person. The only problem was, it was too small for me and it could not be reordered. Then serendipity struck! There was another size in the back that I tried on and loved immediately. I was absolutely not expecting to find something I loved that day.

After trying a few more gowns, I went back to this dress and realized it was the perfect one for me. This was a Tadashi Shoji gown covered with lace scallops. It had a chapel-length train and a strapless neckline. What struck me the most about it was how comfortable I felt in it; I felt like myself. It was perfect for our outdoor setting, yet it still felt glamorous. Danielle styled me in my gown and helped me find gorgeous Nina dropped crystal earrings and a cathedral-length single-tier veil. The gown was completed with a custom crystal belt to replace the ribbon included on the dress.

Not only was I able to find my princess moments at the Wedding Suite, but my maid of honor, mother and mother-in-law were all able to find their dresses thanks to Danielle’s help. To complete the look, my father purchased his suit from Nordstrom. It was truly a special experience, and it was so wonderful to have someone looking after our whole family to ensure we all looked as good as we could.

Photography by Shannon Hollman.

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! E-mail Nordstrom Wedding Stories for details on getting your wedding featured on our blog. And for more inspiration, make a complimentary appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

February 12, 2014

Real Wedding: Ariel & David

Rustic meets romantic: Ariel and David’s outdoor wedding in California was beautiful, intimate and unique. Ariel gives us all the details below.

The Scene: September 7th, 2013 in Santa Cruz, CA

Both David and I love being outside, so our vision for our wedding was to create a rustic and elegant garden celebration. My parents’ garden in Santa Cruz had been the site of three weddings before ours, and I had always hoped to get married there.

The land is surrounded by vineyards, and in early September, the flowers were in full bloom. We were gifted with a warm, breezy day. The day unfolded like a dream.

We had many personal elements incorporated into the wedding. For example, my brother Toby came up with a clever idea to hang a huge piece of cream fabric over a branch of an oak tree, creating a natural altar. David proposed to me under an oak tree in Big Sur, so it was a nice reminder of that day.

We found a beautiful heart made of driftwood in an art store and hung it from the center of the branch. Now the heart hangs on the wall in our dining room!

Our “seating chart” also had a story behind it. Early in our relationship, David and I were taking a walk on the beach when I spotted an ocean-polished stone and picked it up. This stone soon became a symbol of comfort for us as our relationship grew; we would pass it back and forth and carry it in our pockets when we weren’t together.

For table assignments at the wedding, we thought it only appropriate to write each guest’s name on a river stone. I’ve had many guests tell me they still have their stones and that they’ve placed them somewhere special in their own homes.

There are so many people who contributed their time, love and energy to making our wedding day bloom in the way that it did. I will be forever grateful especially to my mom, Linda, whose thoughtfulness and thorough planning made the day feel like a seamless dream.

My Look: I wore a lace wedding dress called ‘Cricket’ by Hayley Paige. I vividly remember when I tried on the dress; I instantly knew it was the one for me. It was the way I felt in it. I didn’t want to take it off!

To accent the dress, I wore pearl stud earrings and a pearl-and-diamond pendant by Mikimoto, a long veil and a beautiful bracelet by Lagos.

My bridesmaids wore long chiffon gowns by Amsale in a shade of red that was a pretty contrast against my white dress and the bright bouquets. The groomsmen wore matching bow ties.

My Wedding Stylist: Danielle Oxford, Nordstrom Valley Fair in San Jose, CA

From the moment we found the dress together through the months that followed, as we sized and styled the bridesmaids, found the perfect shoes, earrings, necklace, etc, I felt I could always turn to Danielle for expert advice and compassionate words of wisdom.

Danielle was intuitive, knowing exactly what I needed to go with the dress before I did. In one appointment, she somehow managed to run downstairs to the shoe department and find my wedding shoes before I even knew she had left! This is how Danielle was with everything. She went above and beyond for me. Her thoughtfulness, creativity and talent helped to make my experience as a bride both magical and fun!

Our Favorite Moments: There are more memorable moments than I could ever list here! But a few that come to mind are…

Seeing David for the first time and laughing together, overwhelmed by the joy of the day. My mouth hurt from smiling after five minutes with him.

Walking down the aisle in between my father, Eric, and my stepfather, Ned. I loved seeing the glowing faces of my community, their huge smiles surrounding me with love and support.

David’s nephew, Connor, carrying a sign down the aisle that read, “Here Comes Your Bride, Uncle David.” He was so adorable, surprising David with this.

My 88-year-old grandmother Pat offering advice from her 50-year marriage. “When you have a fight, just take your clothes off!” She made all our guests roar with laughter.

My younger brothers, Toby and Kyle, in their crazy tailored tiger and zebra suits, adding creative, wild spice to the wedding in their own way.

And I’ll never forget singing with my two best friends, Jemila and Natalie. I had written a surprise song for David, which we performed for him and all the guests, and then we had our first dance together.

I’m so grateful to have found David, the love of my life. I can think of no greater gift than that of loving and being loved for who we truly are. Love gives us purpose and makes life worth living.

Photography by Terry Way

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