Real Weddings

Hayley shares the story of her real-life fairy tale—marrying her fiancé, Ryan, in a Scottish castle—brought to real life with photos and a beautiful wedding video.

Real Wedding Inspiration from Nordstrom Blogs: Hayely and Ryan.

Date and Location: January 28, 2014, at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

The Venue: We visited the seaside town of Crovie in 2011 and fell in love with Scotland. We wanted to have our wedding during the winter and in a beautiful location, so Edinburgh seemed ideal. It’s an amazing, historic city, and Edinburgh Castle is absolutely breathtaking.

Real Wedding Inspiration from Nordstrom Blogs: Hayely and Ryan.

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As president of sales of the bridal division at Donna Morgan and special partner to the Wedding Suite over the years, Lauren makes us feel extra honored as she shares the story of her beautiful beach wedding to Edmund with us here on the blog.

Location: Wychmere Beach Club, Harwich Port, MA

Our Vision: Ed and I both love the water and the beach, so when we found Wychmere Beach Club we knew it was just perfect for our big celebration with all of our friends and family. Our vision was “traditional meets nautical”–with personal touches from us both.

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Erika recounts her wedding day and how she and Tom involved family and friends to celebrate the importance of everyone coming together.

Location: University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio

Our Vision: We decided on one of the most beautiful settings in Cleveland, Wade Oval. It’s surrounded by world-class museums, and we felt it was the perfect, relaxed setting for our ceremony and reception. Our families are so important to us, so we had our siblings, nieces, nephews, parents and extended family participate in our ceremony.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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

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Real Weddings: 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

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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

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