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Michele & Matthew | Real Weddings

Michele shares the story of her and Matthew’s elegant California wedding, perfectly planned down to the last thoughtful detail.

Anne Barge Amherst wedding dress. Real wedding from Nordstrom.

Our Location & Theme: We got married on Valentine’s Day at St. Michael’s Church in Livermore, CA. The reception was at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in nearby Pleasanton. When looking for a venue, we knew that size was going to be an issue. We had a guest count of 350 people, so we were limited. St. Michael’s Church is stunning. We knew the second we walked into Casa Real that it was the place for us. It was in the heart of a winery, had a beautiful entry and the room for cocktail hour had a fireplace to keep everyone warm!

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I am a fan of anything neutral and gold. We wanted a very classic and clean feel. We brought in nine chandeliers and lighting of our own to create our vision. We alternated flowers and candelabras at the tables with different linens to match. Our venue made sure that everything was done perfectly and provided our guests with anything and everything they could want, including a fry bar in case anyone needed a midnight snack. Our seating chart was on a large antique mirror—one of my favorite things that we did!

SEE THE REST OF MICHELE AND MATTHEW’S WEDDING

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Megan & Brian | Real Weddings

Megan shares her and Brian’s destination wedding with an autumnal palette, stunning views and a beautiful Vera Wang wedding gown.

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Our Location & Theme: The Valley Club in Sun Valley, Idaho. Set on two golf courses at the base of the mountains, it’s one of our favorite places and was completely picturesque.

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As we had a fall wedding, our colors were navy and charcoal for attire, coral for flowers and napkins, and sage for invitations, programs and table numbers. I loved the long Jenny Yoo bridesmaid gowns and let each bridesmaid select whichever style she liked. The guys wore their own charcoal suits with Hugo Boss ties and whimsical Paul Smith socks, both in navy. It was nice to have a bright pop of color with the flowers and napkins.

SEE THE WHOLE STORY FROM MEGAN AND BRIAN’S WEDDING

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Kelly & Wojtek | Real Weddings

Kelly shares the story of her and Wojtek’s wedding, where a beautiful Rosa Clara dress, elegant venues and a loving couple were the stars of the day.

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Rosa Clara Callela dress
Location and Special Details: Our ceremony was at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo, New York, and our reception was at the Buffalo Club, also downtown. The Buffalo Club is a members-only club that was founded in 1867 and is in a beautiful historic building.

I was born and raised in Buffalo. Wojtek, who has been living here in the states for about 10 years, is originally from Poland. Most of my family and some of his live here, so it was important for me to have our wedding here. We go to St. Joseph Cathedral regularly, and it is one of the most beautiful churches in the city—so it seemed a fitting place to wed. We also had three priests officiating at the cathedral: one, our main celebrant, who is a close friend of my parents and has become a close friend to me and Wojtek; the second, another family friend; and the third, a priest originally from Poland who did part of our ceremony in Polish. This was very important to Wojtek, as this is his native language and his immediate family (mother, brother, sister and niece) were visiting from Poland. It was truly a bilingual ceremony, which made it really interesting and unique, in our opinion and as we heard from all of our guests! Everything from the ceremony and the sermon to the music was absolutely magical.

SEE THE WHOLE STORY FROM KELLY AND WOJTEK’S WEDDING

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Sarah & Jeff | Real Weddings

Sarah shares the story of her and Jeff’s rustic but elegant garden wedding, plus a beautiful video to remember their big day.

Olia Zavozina 'Ebie' Wedding Dress

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Location and Special Details: Jeff and I had never been to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens before and when we went to look at it, we fell in love. The flowers were blooming, we had the whole place to ourselves, the staff was wonderful. We had the ceremony and cocktail hour outside on the terrace and the reception inside one of the halls that looked out to the garden. The sun was setting. It was gorgeous. The food was amazing. I think that was one of the things that sold us on the location. Bon Appetit did the catering and everything was delicious. Our guests complimented us on the food the most!

SEE THE WHOLE STORY FROM SARAH AND JEFF’S WEDDING

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Real Weddings: Lauren & Richard

Lauren shares the story and details of her and Richard’s classic, elegant wedding.

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June 13, 2015 | The University Club, Pittsburgh, PA

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The venue: Neither of us had ever been to the University Club prior to touring it for our wedding. Once we saw the restored club (which belongs to the University of Pittsburgh), we knew it was the right place for us. It is a stunning venue, classic and elegant. We really wanted to keep everything in one place so that our guests wouldn’t have to travel, and there were several rooms for us to choose from, each one prettier than the last!

Our theme was refined elegance with a modern twist. Family is very important to us, and we incorporated a lot of familial touches and traditions. My family is Scottish and my husband is Jewish, so we used a family tartan as the accent with champagne as our main color. We had a bagpiper, and my brother and oldest nephew did a handfasting ceremony for us. We had a traditional Jewish ceremony with the chuppah, breaking of the glass, et cetera.

To honor our grandparents, I wore my grandmother’s wedding rings on my right hand and had my grandfather’s wedding band pinned to my bouquet. Richard wore his grandfather’s tie clip.

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Favorite moment: Richard and I saw each other before the ceremony, when we signed our ketubah. It was a very special moment for us. There had been so much buildup to the day that it was nice to take a step back and have a private moment together to smile and say, “Let’s go get married.”

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The dress and the Wedding Suite: When I started looking for my gown I came across Rosa Clara and knew that I had to try on some of her creations. I searched for where to find them and saw that the Nordstrom in Beachwood, OH, was the closest (she is not sold locally in Pittsburgh). I wanted a gown that was clean and classic—I told my stylist Dana to think Grace Kelly. I never wanted a “princess look” but certainly a refined one. Our wedding and venue would be formal, so the gown had to have a big impact.

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When I tried on the ‘Delicia’ gown I knew that it had everything I wanted. It was so classically beautiful. The low back with the bows was an unexpected twist and made the gown feel very modern. The long train had the punch that the ceremony space needed and could be removed for the reception. The gown was so comfortable I never wanted to take it off.

Dana and the rest of the Nordstrom Wedding Suite staff were wonderful to work with. They really knew their inventory, and Dana worked to understand what I wanted. The alterations staff were incredible. I wanted the gown to fit like a glove and they made sure that it did.

The overall attention to detail paid at the Wedding Suite is what set them apart.

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Advice for other brides-to-be: It is easy to get caught up in all the excitement. Your wedding day is so important, but it is one day. Let yourself enjoy it. The best part is that you get to marry the person you love, with everyone who you love and who loves you there. Soak up every second of that!

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Final thoughts: Richard and I were so excited to marry one another. We would have married the day after he proposed with no one else with us. But we also had a very clear vision of what we wanted our wedding to be. We stuck with it throughout the planning process. Our amazing wedding planner, Deb Waterkotte, made sure that our dream day was executed flawlessly. It was such a special day, one we would do over and over again. We are so happy to have found each other and to be building our lives together.

Honeymoon? The honeymoon was in Costa Rica. It was wonderful!

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Photography by Beth Kukucka at Kukucka Photography

Did you find your wedding gown or bridesmaid dresses 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.

 

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Real Weddings: Nikki & Chad

Nikki shares the story—including its muddy beginnings—of marrying her fiancé, Chad, in his mother’s garden off the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

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Date and Location: August 30, 2014, at Lakebay, WA

The Venue: We wanted an outdoor wedding on Chad’s folks’ property. My mother-in-law has a gorgeous garden, and the scene was perfect for an intimate ceremony and reception.

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Real Weddings: Samantha & Michael

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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Real Weddings, Bridesmaids Edition: Two Brides, Two Shades of Green | Nordstrom Blog

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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Gifted Givers: Wedding Stars Sinclair & Moore

We’re counting down the crucial pre-Christmas shopping days with a series called Gifted Givers, in which friends old and new share their thoughts on stylishly spirited giving and receiving.

Laura Mercier

It’s a rare couple who works together blissfully, but Steve and Jamie Moore make it look like a breeze. Co-owners of Sinclair & Moore, a Seattle-based wedding design and planning company (Steve’s the designer; Jamie’s the planner), the pair take personal delight in the joy they see at every wedding they’re a part of. The ridiculously romantic partners—married since 2011 and expecting their first baby any second now—love the season of giving, and can predict each other’s wish lists with newlywed precision.

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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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