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Real Wedding

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

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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Mixing tradition with whimsy, Carolyn and David had a modern museum wedding that was uniquely them. See the gorgeous color palette, dinosaur bones (really!) and get more details from Carolyn below.

The Background: David and I met in 2007, but our connection goes back much further. Our first week of college at the University of Kansas, David was sitting at a table with some mutual friends, and I noticed his T-shirt featuring a summer camp—the same camp I had once attended! I walked right up to him to introduce myself. After a year of close friendship, we started dating, and we held our wedding on the weekend of our five-year anniversary.

The Scene: October 6, 2013, at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas

I grew up in Dallas and wanted to hold our wedding there. We visited many venues looking for something modern and unique, and once we stepped inside the Perot Museum, we knew we had found the place for us.

Our color scheme was navy, grey and lilac. (At first, I only wanted navy and grey; that is, until I realized my wedding would be a Dallas Cowboys party!) I loved that the colors were neutral but alluded to the fall season, despite temperatures in the 70s on our wedding day.

My bridesmaids wore long dresses by Donna Morgan called ‘Laura’ in the color ‘Midnight’, accented by rose and hydrangea bouquets in shades of lilac.

We chose to hold the ceremony in the museum’s romantic Gems and Minerals Hall, which boasts an 8-foot purple geode as the centerpiece. Lilac flowers and soft, romantic drapery set the mood.

After the ceremony, our guests moved into what I called “the Dinosaurs Hall” to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres surrounded by massive dinosaur fossils.

For our reception, guests went down to the lobby of the museum and were greeted by the Dallas skyline, dancing water molecules suspended from the ceiling and, of course, more dinosaurs. Delicious meals were served from Wolfgang Puck Catering, starting with a haricots vert salad with confit tomatoes, followed by a sweet pea agnolotti. Guests chose from slow-braised short ribs, organic chicken breast and almond-crusted salmon.

My Look: I wore a Nouvelle Amsale tulle ballgown. I wanted to look traditional with a fun twist. I also wanted a gown that was actually comfortable and something I could dance in! I loved the comfortable shape and the fabric, and that the beaded belt was built in.

I wore my grandmother’s earrings for my something old and my now sister-in-law’s beaded comb for my something borrowed! Since navy was part of my color scheme, it was a perfect chance to snag the kate spade new york ‘charm’ shoes in navy glitter for my something blue.

My Wedding Stylist: Sarah at the Dallas NorthPark Center Wedding Suite

For my first appointment with Sarah, I brought a few pictures of dresses I liked, but before I even pulled them out, my gown was hanging there waiting for me! There were so many beautiful dresses to try, but this one fit the whimsical feel of my venue and I just felt right in it.

Sarah made my experience painless from purchase through fittings and alterations up to the week of the wedding. By the end, the team at Nordstrom had met almost my entire family! Everyone was so helpful and kind.

Our Special Moments: After a festive hora, we danced the night away with our guests to the music of the Motion Band. We finished the night off with vanilla cake with whipped cream and strawberry filling and, of course, a to-go candy bar on the way out.

The wedding was a whirlwind and we had a ridiculously good time!

Photos by Perez Photography

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email 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.

We’re a bit obsessed with the sweet, unique Southern wedding of Hillary and Jordan–and impressed with their quick planning and easy-going style! Read on for the story from Hillary.

The Proposal: Jordan and I have always been a bit nontraditional. We started dating after college and 6 months later decided to pick up and move across the country together from our hometown of Mobile, Alabama to Seattle. Two years later, Jordan proposed to me on a perfect fall Seattle morning at our home, and then we escaped to the San Juan Islands for the weekend and didn’t tell a soul what just happened! We loved basking in the secret of it all.

When we started to plan the wedding, we quickly became overwhelmed with all the choices. Should we get married in Seattle or back home? Should it be a big wedding or an intimate gathering? Should we elope?

One afternoon, both of us feeling stressed out, we went on a bike ride and the funniest thing happened. Jordan half-joked that we should just get married in a few weeks, when we we’re going to be at home for Thanksgiving. That sounded tempting. Totally “us”: spontaneous, casual and a little offbeat. So that’s exactly what we did! We planned a wedding in three weeks, from across the country. And it was perfect.

The Scene:  November 23, 2013, Washington Square in Mobile, Alabama

Because of the short timeline, we didn’t really have a “theme” or “look” for the wedding. Jordan and I just tried to be true to what we really wanted and trusted that it would look amazing.

The ceremony was held in Washington Square, a historic park in our old neighborhood. It’s centered around an old fountain and surrounded by giant, twisted live oaks. It is the epitome of Southern romance.

The wedding itself was very intimate, just close family and friends and therefore we skipped having a wedding party. I walked down aisle with my Dad to a live bluegrass band and a very close friend of ours officiated (on extremely short notice too!)

Jordan and I wrote the ceremony together, incorporating humor, heartfelt honesty and love.

The reception was held at a cute little house we rented a few blocks away from the park. We ate ourselves sick with delicious Alabama barbeque, Southern pies and desserts, and then danced to bluegrass music until late in the night.

My Look: I wore a short, fit & flare dress from Ted Baker London. My shoes were the Halogen Katrina Bootie in teal. And at the end of the night, once it got a little chilly, I topped it off with a Trouvé leather jacket in navy blue.

My Wedding Stylist: Sarah Walton, Downtown Seattle Wedding Suite

With my wedding now only a few weeks away, my girlfriend made me an emergency appointment at the Nordstrom Wedding Suite to look for dresses. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to find my dress there, with my crazy short timeline and all. However, Sarah was incredible and gave me confidence right away. She listened to the whole story of how the wedding came to be, asked me my likes and dislikes and then assured me that we could find something I would love.

She had pulled a few dresses before I arrived, and the first dress on the rack was the Ted Baker. I thought, “This isn’t what I had in mind.” But once I was zipped in and buttoned up, I couldn’t believe it. It was THE dress. I loved that it was short and I could move around in it. The feather detail is as delicate as lace, but more unexpected, and it felt vaguely Southern.

Now that I had the dress, I needed shoes, and I started to have a little vision of what I wanted. I needed a seriously cool shoe to contrast the sweetness of the dress. When Sarah found the teal booties, it was love at first sight.

As the final ‘pièce de résistance’, I told Sarah that I wanted a little jacket to throw over my dress at the end of the night. I’d had my eye on a Trouve jacket for a while, and I thought, when is a better time to splurge and buy a navy blue leather jacket? Even with a last minute order and alterations, Sarah made it happen again.

I felt so amazing in my outfit and love that I have both the jacket and shoes that I can wear again!

Our Favorite Moments: Our day turned out to be everything we wanted in a wedding: close friends and family, good music, tasty food and lots of laughter. We could not have pulled off that crazy idea without the support of our family and friends. It was so touching that everyone immediately got on board with our plan and found ways to help make it happen.

Photography by Mikey Zeff

Did you find your wedding gown at Nordstrom? We love a good wedding story! Email 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.

October 23, 2013

Brideology: The Wedding

After nearly a year of blogging about her wedding planning process, it’s finally time for Cara to share the actual big day itself! Read on for her Real Wedding story…

It’s bittersweet that I’m writing the big end-all post for my Brideology series, as my engagement and wedding have come and gone. It’s incredible how fast the time goes by, but the memories—and the marriage!—are even more incredible.

I’m so excited to tell the story and show photos by the awesome Sea Studio Photography. Because we share many Real Weddings from brides on our blog, I thought I’d tell mine in the same way…

The Scene: August 3, 2013, Treehouse Point, Issaquah, WA

Our wedding took place at the bed & breakfast at Treehouse Point, tucked away in the forest with a small meandering river, rocky beaches, wooded trails, a cozy main lodge and treehouses for our family and wedding party to stay in. It was the perfect place for us because we could all be together for the whole weekend in a gorgeous, peaceful setting.

We wanted the day to feel comfortable, intimate and fun for our 100 guests, so we included as many personal touches as we could. While it was a ton of work, it was worth it when it all came together. Our decor was eco-inspired with many recycled elements.

My mom created our welcome sign to match our invitations, and I drew the rest of our signage in bright colors on chalkboards with gold frames. Our friends helped us put up strings of lights (amazing how much just a few lights can glam up a space!) and decorated with succulents from our garden at home, river rocks, gold-painted branches and farmer’s market flowers.

Drew and I hand-wrote notes to our guests and tucked them in jars that were used for drinking glasses, also doubling as our place cards. We found funny, artsy little cards and wrote thank-yous to each person. We wanted to acknowledge the support, friendship and memories that every person has contributed to our relationship, seeing as these are the people who got us to where we are today!

My Look: I wore a gown by Olia Zavozina called ‘Delia’ that I found at a trunk show through the Wedding Suite. My Wedding Stylist Chelsea was incredibly helpful, sweet and patient, and after just one appointment with me, she knew my style better than I did. She had her eye on this gown and told me I should try it on, and she was right—I absolutely loved it in every possible way!

The gown was covered in rosettes that gave it an amazing texture, and it had an almost ombré effect in the way in which the fabric was layered. I would wear it every day if I could (but seeing as that’s crazy, I’ll probably just stick to the whole watching-TV-drinking-champagne-eating-popcorn-in-my-wedding-dress-on-my-anniversary thing).

I wore the same flower crown that my mom wore at her wedding almost 30 years ago, although I added a few fresh flowers to it. For jewelry, I kept it simple with small kate spade new york floral earrings that happened to perfectly match a bracelet my mom found for me at an antique shop.

My Groom: Drew looked amazing in his suit, if I do say so myself! He wore a grey BOSS suit with a white shirt and cognac monk strap shoes, all from Nordstrom. I got him a polka dot pocket square as a day-of surprise.

Our Wedding Party: My bridesmaids wore strapless ‘Morgan’ dresses by Donna Morgan. (A popular bridesmaid style for a reason: They’re so flattering on different body types!) I loved how the peach color looked with the bright flowers and all the green scenery. My girls looked beautiful and were so amazingly supportive and fun all weekend long. My sister Haley was my maid of honor.

Drew’s five groomsmen wore light-blue Calibrate shirts, plaid Ben Sherman ties and grey pants. Drew’s dad was his best man. The guys worked hard to set up for the wedding and then took a break to skip rocks in the river and make a few whiskey toasts before the ceremony.

The Ceremony: One thing I really wanted in our wedding was live music, so we had Drew’s brother play the guitar and his friend play the violin for the processional—”The Stable Song.” They also played “Can’t Help Falling in Love” when I walked down the aisle. It was a tear-jerker for sure! Our ceremony was personal, sweet and funny, officiated by Drew’s aunt and with readings from our families. Incorporating our families was very important to us.

Although the day had been cloudy, the sun broke through literally right as I took my place at the arbor. You hear people say that even on rainy days, the sun comes out for the wedding, and I couldn’t believe it really happened. I looked up and practically shouted, “The sun!” I was so excited, I couldn’t contain myself!

The Party: We kicked off the party with local beers and wines and popcorn, and we followed that with a delicious dinner catered by Portage Bay Café. We had a shortcake berry bar for dessert—one of my favorite parts!

We skipped many of the reception traditions in favor of more time to mingle and dance with our guests. Drew had a friend bring hula hoops to the reception—something I initially thought he was kidding about—and it turned out to be so much fun! People were having hula-hoop competitions on the dance floor!

Our Special Moments: There are so many, it’s overwhelming! I do think one of the best moments was when Drew and I were alone for a few minutes after the ceremony. I would definitely recommend taking this time to just be together—it’s so emotional and memorable!

We were surprised with some hilarious and heartfelt speeches during dinner from my dad, my sister and Drew’s dad. They were a major highlight of the night, and people have been talking about them ever since.

Our first dance was also really special because Drew’s brother played the guitar and sang Ryan Adams’ version of “When the Stars Go Blue.” The small space filled with lights felt intimate and cozy. Everyone loved the mini-concert and wanted more!

We stayed up late with our overnight guests before going to sleep in the trees. It truly was the best day ever.

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Thank you for following my journey! It’s been a great experience!

xo,
Mrs. Lommen

Images by Sea Studio Photography

Actress Kate Bosworth and writer-director Michael Polish got married over the long weekend! The beautiful blonde and her handsome husband were snapped in this photo from Martha Stewart Weddings, who helped style the event, at a ranch in Montana. From what we know of Kate’s trendy-yet-laid-back style, we’re sure the event was both stunning and tons of fun!

Kate wore a custom Oscar de la Renta gown with an eight-foot-long, 16-foot-wide train (wow!) but the overall look was simple with her hair pulled back, a traditional veil and small bits of sparkle. We’ll be on the lookout for more photos of the rest of the wedding and her reception dress!

Here’s our take on her simple, sophisticated wedding style for the big day.

Heidi Elnora ‘Coco Marie’ Gown | Nadri Small Pavé Ball Earrings | Tasha ‘Divine Crystal’ Headband | Nina Cathedral Veil

Image courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings

Amy and Tracy share the gorgeous photos and fun details from their modern SoCal wedding.

The Scene: March 9th, Diamond View Tower, San Diego, CA

The main goal of our wedding was to have a really great party with all of our close family and friends. Tracy is from a town outside Memphis, Tennessee, and I’m from San Diego, so the underlying theme for our invitations, website and wedding décor was a modern South-meets-Southwest motif.

Our venue was an indoor/outdoor event space that overlooks downtown San Diego and PETCO Park ballpark. It featured panoramic views of the San Diego skyline, plus a large balcony with an impressive fireplace and lounge seating. We had a small, private ceremony on the balcony before the rest of our guests joined us for our reception.

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The Party: We chose to do a moving-style reception with food stations located throughout the venue. We also had an open bar and a signature cocktail for the night: mojitos! Rather than having a traditional wedding cake, we had a cake display table with five small cakes, macaroons and specialty teas.


My Look: I wore a form-fitting Nicole Miller silk gown, which had a deep V neckline with cutouts and a large bow detail on the back.

For hair and makeup, I wanted a simple, modern look with a wow factor. My hair and makeup artists nailed it! My hair was styled in a loose side bun with braiding detail and a classic hair piece, which was custom-made by my close friend and jewelry designer Chris Ching. Bold brow and eye makeup and simple pink lip color completed the look for me.


When it comes to accessories, I’m definitely a less-is-more girl, so I limited my accessories to classic gold, zircon and white topaz earrings along with a matching hair piece.


My Wedding Stylist: Heidi Simonion, Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Brea, CA

The Nordstrom Wedding Suite was the first and only bridal shop I went to. I went with my best childhood friend and our moms. When I set up the appointment, I mentioned that I was looking for a simple, sleek dress for me and short white dresses for my bridesmaids. When we arrived, Heidi had already pulled some dresses that fit what I was looking for and gave us a few minutes to select any other ones we found on display.

I found “the dress” on display and I tried it on first because I actually thought it was the one I’d like the least—I wasn’t sure about the bow on the back. When I tried it on, I loved it! I tried on a few other dresses, but none of them compared to the first one.

I took advantage of the in-house alteration services and was really happy with the final result.


Heidi also helped me find white bridesmaid dresses. I ended up selecting two styles by Alexia Admor. My bridesmaids had a choice of either style, and Heidi was super-helpful in reaching out to all of the girls and making sure they got their orders in. She was a joy to work with, and she made the whole dress shopping experience easy and enjoyable!

Our Special Moments: We entered the reception to a mash-up of the songs Tennessee and California Love, which kicked off the dance party! The dancing was definitely the highlight of the night—everyone was on their feet for the Wobble, Cupid Shuffle, and the impromptu Soul Train lines. When people weren’t on the dance floor, they were sampling candies at the candy table and posing for pictures in the photo booth.

It was definitely the best party Tracy and I have ever been to. Mission accomplished!


Photography by: Suzanna March Photography

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

 

One of our favorite British babes tied the knot over the weekend, and we’re loving her laid-back wedding style. Keira Knightley and James Righton were married in a small ceremony in France, and Keira rocked a sweet (and supposedly not new) little white dress, flats, sweater and sunglasses.

Here’s our take on her casual, comfortable look for the big day. Just add a handsome groom, a smile and a little skip in your step!

Jill Stuart Ruffled Chiffon Fit & Flare Dress | Tildon Beaded Bomber Sweater | Menbur Bridal Flat | Ray-Ban Classic Wayfarer Sunglasses

Don’t miss our little white dress lookbook with more short dress options!

Image courtesy of Daily Mail

April 19, 2013

Brideology: Flower Power

Call me crazy, but I decided I’m going to do all my wedding flowers on my own. Stressful? Maybe. Fun? Yes, I think so!

At one point, I considered using a professional florist or getting premade bouquets from a farmer’s market, but I’ve also been trying to find ways to cut costs. After a little research, it was clear that buying fresh-cut flowers in bulk is much cheaper, and arranging bouquets can be pretty simple.

A local flower guide snapped from a Seattle magazine inspired me to make my own arrangements.

I don’t have specific color preferences; I want all kinds of bright, summery flowers, like dahlias, anemones, gladiolas and zinnias. I found out that there’s a farm right next to our wedding venue that sells bulk blooms all summer, so I’m working with them on what will be available at the time of our wedding.

Pretty dahlias in bulk from a local farm, via Pacific Horticulture.

Then I thought, if I’m going DIY, I might as well REALLY go for it and grow some flowers myself! So I bought a few bags of bulbs at Costco and planted them last weekend in containers on our deck. Hopefully, they’ll add some color to our house, and then we can harvest in time for the wedding. (P.S. If you go to Costco, I dare you to not spend an hour looking at all the pretty color combos and flower choices! I had to be dragged away.)

Nothing says SPRING like planting flowers in the sun!

There are great resources online for how to create bouquets and other decorative arrangements. My favorite is the Cali-based duo Wedding Chicks. The whole wedding site is gorgeous and addictive! In one section, they share “Bouquet Recipes,” with beautiful images, names of every flower used (so helpful!), and easy-to-follow instructions.

Amy, one of the chicks, said, “We decided to create Bouquet Recipes as a segment to help brides identify the flowers that they love. It’s also meant to inspire brides for their own bouquets, whether they hire a professional or choose DIY.” She also made a great point to me about DIY: “We would suggest testing your skills a few times before the big day to make sure you can achieve the desired result and look!”

Peach bouquet via Wedding Chicks with amaryllises, peonies and much more.

Fortunately, I won’t truly be doing it on my own. I’ll be recruiting my mom, mother-in-law, sister and bridesmaids to help. I actually can’t think of anything more fun than sitting in the sun with my girls, sipping sangria and arranging bouquets!