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Real Weddings

Samantha shares the story of her October wedding in Ohio, where loved ones scattered across the country met in the middle at the church where she was raised.

The Ceremony: Church of St. Rita in Solon, Ohio
From the very beginning of our planning process, we knew we wanted our wedding day to be a fun gathering of family and friends. We focused on having great food and great music, knowing that our loved ones would be on the dance floor all evening.

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A lot goes into planning a wedding, including finding the perfect gowns for your bridesmaids. Here, two unrelated brides—Krista and Danielle—share their inspiration and the paths that led them to choose bridesmaid dresses from Donna Morgan in beautiful shades of green.

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KRISTA

The Bridesmaid Dresses: Like most brides, I leaned on Pinterest for inspiration throughout the planning process. After we selected our venue, I knew I had to choose a color palette. Pastels were something I was really drawn to, since they are so soft and romantic, and that’s how we envisioned our wedding. Since we loved the pastel color palette, we thought that having mint green as the main color of the wedding would be unique. Once we had decided on that, it was easy to narrow down the bridesmaid dress color, since the Donna Morgan line has so many shades available.

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I knew I wanted to mix and match the colors, because we had decided to mix and match ties for the groomsmen as well. I really liked the idea that everything at our wedding would tie together but not necessarily match perfectly. I was also able to get color swatches of the dresses from a Nordstrom store, which was so helpful in making my final decision on the color, and I ended up with a mix and match of the colors Apple Tart and Spearmint.

I was very flexible with my bridesmaids. I told them the colors I liked and then let them choose whichever Donna Morgan neckline they preferred. There are so many necklines, which all look different on different body types. It was really important to me that my bridesmaids felt comfortable and pretty on our big day, so I wanted them to pick what they felt confident and pretty in!

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Your Wedding Suite Experience: I chose Nordstrom for a number of reasons. First, not all of my bridesmaids lived in the area, so coordinating a shopping trip was not going to happen for us. Choosing Nordstrom would let them all go and try on dresses and choose their style on their own, or receive free shipping if they didn’t live near a Nordstrom location. Also, I knew that if there were any issues with the sizing, they could return them without a hassle—or the girls could get them altered in store and they would be treated well.

Final Thoughts: Looking back at my pictures, I can tell that each of my bridesmaids felt as pretty as I did!

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DANIELLE

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Location: The Foundry by Herban Feast (Seattle, WA). My vision actually came together after I booked my venue. The Foundry is in the more industrial area of Seattle (SODO) and had that nice romantic, urban feel. It was the only place my fiancé and I could agree on (we loved it!). For me, it had the romance (wine barrels, soft lighting, etc.), and for him, it had the Northwest masculine feel (concrete floors, wooden chandeliers and a fireplace); it just matched our vision. I incorporated a lot of soft, romantic colors (coral, mint and gold), beach wood, air plants/succulents and soft metals—including a gold sequin runner at the head table. We also did a romantic Italian light wall and candles for the ceremony. It was heavenly. :)

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The Bridesmaid Dresses: I wanted a color to complement coral (my first color choice) and gold (my accent color). I started to see this color combo (mint + coral + gold) early in 2014 and LOVED how it looked!

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I liked the classic look of one color for bridesmaid dresses (mint), but I ended up doing shades of sage and mint for my flowers and design details of the wedding. I ended up doing shades of coral/peach/pink-orange for my flowers to add depth.

I knew what I wanted from the beginning—Donna Morgan was my designer of choice. She’s a great designer and the dresses are great quality. After that, I let my bridesmaids decide on style; I just requested that it be something long and have a “hint of mint,” because I loved how it looked in the sample I saw. The gals ironically all went with the same dresses and neckline because they just loved the style.

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Final Thoughts: Looking back at the photos, I love seeing how the bridesmaid dresses brought the whole picture together. The color (deeper than my white dress) gave a fresh, romantic look to our wedding. I can’t begin to rave how much I loved the color and overall look of my bridesmaid dresses.

And a note about Nordstrom. I knew I would get service, quality and style there. I have been a loyal Nordstrom shopper since I was born. :) My mom (since retired) worked for the company for 25 years. Nordstrom is still my go-to department store for basically everything I wear!

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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.

January 9, 2015

Real Weddings: Cai & Alex

Cai shares how her Vera Wang dress dream came true and the importance of bringing family together—even when separated by two languages and an ocean.

The Ceremony: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Strongsville, Ohio
I’m originally from China and my parents still live there, so they couldn’t help much with the wedding planning. Instead, my amazing mother-in-law, Kathi, stepped in to support me along the way. I felt so blessed by the love of my husband’s family throughout the process.

My parents flew in for the big day, and even though they couldn’t understand what was said at the ceremony, they did participate by walking me down the aisle. It was so special to have them there and to have the wedding of my and my parents’ dreams, since they were only able to have a simple ceremony 30 years ago at their own wedding.

The Dress: Louisa by Vera Wang
I’ve always known I wanted a Vera Wang gown to get married in—they make a bride look like a princess. When shopping at Nordstrom at Beachwood Place, I met my Wedding Stylist, Dana, and she really helped make the whole process easier for me. She’s the one who found my dress, and I instantly fell in love. It’s a strapless ball gown with 16 layers of draped tulle and crystal embroidery accents at the hip—a dream come true.

Dana was so helpful by accommodating my busy schedule, finding a perfect seamstress to help with fittings, and really going out of her way to help me with everything.

My Favorite Moments:
At the reception, my friend Yan gave a beautiful toast in both English and Mandarin. Like me, she came to the United States alone from China. She perfectly articulated how much strength it gives me to have the love and support of another family here in America.

I also felt so beautiful during my first dance with my husband in my Vera Wang dress; it was a wonderful evening that will stay with me forever.


Photography by Mydi

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.

McKenna shares her and Joseph’s special day at an Italian-inspired location in Scottsdale, AZ.

The vision: It was beautiful! We wanted something classic yet contemporary, so we decided our wedding colors would be black and white with hints of pink. Silverleaf reminded us of a Tuscan villa; it was as if we had stepped into another country! Gorgeous!



Favorite moment: I will always remember walking down the aisle with my dad and then joining Joseph at the altar. It was such an amazing moment knowing we would be husband and wife. Finally! The entire wedding was perfect—we were so happy with everything.


The dress: I chose the Ethel from the Vera Wang Collection. My bridesmaids went with a black Monique Lhuillier floor-length gown.


The Wedding Suite: Kathy was amazing. She guided me through the entire fitting and helped me with everything else gift and gown wise! She has become a dear friend. She is an amazing person inside and out and made the whole experience perfect! I couldn’t have asked for a better stylist!


Photography by Renee Clancy.

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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September 25, 2014

Real Weddings: Vanessa & Jon

Vanessa recounts her and Jon’s May wedding at the Renaissance D.C. Downtown Hotel in the nation’s capital.

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My Vision: The reception venue was modern and sleek but still warm and inviting. This modern look lent itself well to the D.C. vibe we were trying to achieve, as well as a less formal feel to the reception. For example, we did not have a traditional sit-down dinner; rather, we incorporated live-action stations in our reception ballroom, which included a mashed potato bar, a crêpe station, and a crab cake station. Finally, we had a photo booth that was a hit with our guests—such a fun experience, and it also doubled as our wedding favor. Overall, we wanted our guests to enjoy a great party with delicious food and drinks and have FUN!

The Scene: When we were planning for our wedding, an issue was that my family was scattered across the Northeast, while Jon’s family was situated in Seattle, WA. Our closest friends live in the D.C. metro area. Ultimately, we decided to have the wedding in Washington, D.C., as it is a location that both families could travel to and one that our friends could easily get to. Moreover, we hoped that our out-of-town guests would take advantage of their D.C. visit to check out the monuments and other historic sites!

St. Dominic’s is a breathtaking church that provided a serene setting for us to exchange our vows. We visited many potential reception sites to follow up the ceremony with before deciding on the Renaissance D.C. Hotel. However, after our first meeting with an event coordinator at the Renaissance, we felt excitement: something we hadn’t felt with the other venues we’d visited. As the event coordinator showed us around the hotel, Jon and I could see our wedding playing out, details and all.

We loved the modern yet inviting feel of the hotel as well as its central location in D.C., for both out-of-town and local guests. The coordinator was also inviting—her warmth was evident, as was her love of planning weddings. Jon and I knew we wanted to work with a coordinator who saw our wedding as unique and would put as much care into it as we were.

Special Moments: Our favorite moment took place right before the ceremony began. Jon was in the back with our priest, Father Schommer, talking through the ceremony logistics and running down the list of items to check off, as they were waiting for the clock to hit 2pm. They heard Jon’s sister singing and the organ playing, and then Fr. Schommer asked about our cantor (the chief singer employed by the church). He asked if Jon had seen him around. They discovered that neither of them had actually called the cantor. When they did, they found out that he was sitting on his couch at home! The chief singer who we had worked with for 8 months had forgotten about our wedding. Fr. Schommer made a quick announcement to the congregation that there was a 5-minute delay, and that we were “waiting for one of the musicians.” He asked the organist to please continue to play music. This was at 2:01pm.

Fr. Schommer was a quick thinker, and he went through the ceremony songs and figured out which of them he could sing and which he couldn’t. In a minute or so, we had it figured out, and were ready to go. At about 2:05pm, Fr. Schommer walked out of the sacristy (the area behind the altar), onto the altar and quickly came right back. He said to Jon, “Vanessa is coming down the aisle!” The wedding party and I didn’t hear Fr. Schommer’s announcement of the delay, as his microphone speakers didn’t reach the vestibule (the area that the wedding party and I were lined up ready to process in). On top of that, the filler music being played by the organist was the processional music I was meant to walk down the aisle to. With all that confusion, the wedding party started to process in… without Fr. Schommer or Jon at the end of the aisle.

Fr. Schommer asked Jon to wait for a minute so that I could get down to the end of the aisle, and then waved Jon out. There was a roar of laughter, and made this moment truly memorable and unique to our wedding.

My Dress: I found my wedding gown at the Tysons Corner Wedding Suite in McLean, VA. There couldn’t have been a more perfect gown to suit my style and my wedding day in the nation’s capital. My wedding stylist, Maria, called me for my first consultation in June 2013. Knowing I was petite with curves, she suggested designs by Matthew Christopher. His ‘Moet’ gown was the second gown that I tried on when I had my first appointment with Maria, and I immediately fell in love. I tried on a few more gowns just to be sure, but each one couldn’t compare to ‘Moet’—it sealed the deal for me. I purchased my Nina wedges, Nadri earrings, Nina veil and Nina clutch from the suite as well. I also found the bridesmaid dresses and flower girl dress at the suite!

The Wedding Suite: Maria and the Wedding Suite team made my shopping and alterations experience incredible, from the day I purchased my gown to my last fitting. Not only were they organized and detail-oriented; they were also warm and caring, making my wedding experience that much more memorable. I didn’t feel like just one more bride walking through the suite. Rather, I felt my experience was unique to Maria and the team.

Photos by Rachel Naft

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.