Fall Wedding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photography by Terry Way

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.

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Homemade favors are some of our favorites to receive at weddings–especially when they involve food! A few standouts from a quick poll of our wedding team: caramels, seafood seasoning, granola, s’mores kits, honey and even salsa! YUM.

HeroWe were inspired by the delicious-looking strawberry-rhubarb jam from Caroline and Jason’s wedding, so we asked Caroline to give us her recipe. Read on below and try it yourself.

INGREDIENTS (makes 20 4-ounce jars)

4 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups white sugar
4 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, halved
1/4 cup lemon juice
20 4-ounce canning jars with lids and rings (sterilized in boiling water for at least 5 minutes)

STEPS

1. Mix rhubarb and sugar in a large, heavy pot and let stand for 2 hours; stir in strawberries and lemon juice.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Lower heat to medium-high and cook jam at a full rolling boil until thickened, stirring often to prevent scorching, for 20 to 25 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and stir for 2 to 3 more minutes. Skim off any foam.

4. Pack the jam into the sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the top. Then run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims to remove any food residue. Top with lids and screw on rings.

5. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring water to a boil.

6. Carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Water level should be at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Pour in more water if necessary to cover.

7. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot with a lid and process for 10 minutes.

8. Remove the jars from the pot and place several inches apart on a cloth-covered or wood surface. Let jars stand on wire racks for 24 hours to cool and seal.

9. Once cool, press the top of each lid with a finger, ensuring that the seal is tight (lid does not move up or down at all).

Then, decorate however you wish! Tie with twine or ribbon and add a card, place a sticker on the top of the jar or wrap in tissue. Write names and table numbers on jars to double as a seating chart and favor!

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Bree and Trey’s city wedding sounds like our kind of party: great food, great music, great people! Read on for the story of the day—and the dress—as told by Bree.

The Scene: November 9, 2013, at Petterino’s Restaurant in Chicago, Illinois

Trey and I knew right away that there were only two things that we cared about for our wedding. First, we wanted to make sure that the entire focus was on our love for one another. Second, we wanted to have the party of the century, complete with great food and a night full of dancing!

The only venue we looked at was Petterino’s Restaurant in the Theater District in Chicago. There was a grand staircase in the middle of the lobby; we knew immediately that it was the perfect venue and that we wanted to have our ceremony on the staircase.

Our wedding came together pretty seamlessly. Trey and I decided in the beginning that we didn’t particularly care about things like centerpieces, flowers or a conventional wedding cake.

Instead, we opted for Mad Libs on the tables that our guests could fill out, a brooch bouquet made by my mother and cupcakes of all different flavors, along with a small chocolate peanut butter cake for us to cut. We each have a sister, so in place of having a traditional bridal party, they stood up with us as we exchanged our vows.

There were a few key things that we could pinpoint as being our favorite parts of the evening. Although we were the ones who thought of having our ceremony on the staircase, we had no idea what a great idea it would actually end up being. We were physically surrounded by love during our entire ceremony, and it was so special to us. It was a really intimate experience that we will remember forever.

Second, we wrote our own vows. The promises we made to each other will be with us for every moment of our life together.

Lastly, my best friend had the idea that, in lieu of a unity candle, we could have each of our family members write us three letters apiece, which we’ll get to read after one month, one year and five years of marriage. Each family member placed his or her letters in boxes during the ceremony. We’ll keep these letters forever; they will always be near and dear to us.

My Look: I wore the Jenny Yoo ‘Monarch’ gown with a crystal sash and big sparkly chandelier earrings, which were my “something borrowed.” When I had originally tried the dress on, my first thought was that it was a perfect look… and my second thought was that it felt like I was wearing pajamas! This dress made me feel more beautiful than ever on my wedding night, but it was so comfortable that I was able to dance the night away without stopping!

My Wedding Stylist: Amie Kesler, Michigan Avenue Wedding Suite

I have to admit: At the time, dress-shopping was the part of wedding planning that I was least excited about. After all, I could have married Trey in a potato sack, for all I cared!

The week before my appointment, Amie and I had a conversation about what my wedding was going to look like, what my street style was and what I wanted out of a wedding dress. When my group and I arrived at the Wedding Suite, there were about 13 dresses lined up for me. I tried on the first one and didn’t really react. I informed Amie right away: “I’m not going to have a moment, so please don’t wait for one. I’m just not that kind of girl.”

The very last dress in the line was the ‘Monarch’ gown by Jenny Yoo. Amie showed us that it was a convertible gown and there were actually 18 different ways to tie the straps. She tied them a certain way and added some accessories, and then the strangest thing happened… I actually had a moment! I never thought I’d be emotional about a piece of clothing, but it happened! I could never thank Amie enough.

On top of finding the dress, I really appreciated how laid-back the entire experience was. It was just what I needed!

Our Favorite Moments: Our wedding night was a total blast! From start to finish, every moment was beyond perfect. I know that a lot of people say that, but we promise it’s the truth!

The ceremony was extremely meaningful. The food was great (at least we heard it was—we actually didn’t get to eat anything!). The photo booth was a big hit. The DJ played music that had people on the dance floor all night. The late-night appetizers (pigs in a blanket and buffalo chicken meatballs!) were well received and perfectly timed.

There was just a feeling of love and happiness throughout the entire night that we will remember forever. It was perfect.

Photos by Jill Tiongco 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 free appointment with a Wedding Stylist or browse our Wedding Suite.

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Haley and T.J.’s wedding didn’t go exactly as planned, but it turned out to be incredibly beautiful and special. Read on for this sweet couple’s story of weathering the storm.

Our Story: T.J. proposed on May 26 at the legendary Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado. I was there working out around 5:30am when he showed up and popped the question. The setting was perfect, with a stunning view of Denver and the sun just beginning to rise. I don’t even remember saying yes because I was crying so much!

T.J. is in the Marine Corps and was set to leave for training in Virginia in just under four months. We decided that getting married before he left was important to us, so the planning happened very quickly!

The Scene: September 14, 2013, at a family residence in Denver, Colorado

From early on, our vision of the wedding was an intimate outdoor event, one where we could really enjoy the company of our guests and each other. For T.J. and me, fun was by far our number one priority! If there were good people, good drinks and good music, we would be happy.

We decided that my grandparents’ home was a perfect location. It sits in the Rockies, with the Colorado River running through the backyard. It is so breathtakingly beautiful that we could keep the decor very simple.

We planned a few rustic touches like a wooden arbor for the ceremony backdrop and farm tables that complemented the setting. The flowers were where we wanted the color to pop, and they could not have been more beautiful.

The weather in Colorado is usually good in September—not too wet and with generally mild temperatures. However, it happened that a 100-year flood came on the week of our wedding. It rained every day, which is so uncommon for Colorado. By Thursday morning it was clear there was no way we could have the wedding in my grandparents’ backyard. With broken hearts, we searched frantically for a new venue.

Luckily, my aunt and uncle own a gorgeous home in Denver with a tennis court in the backyard. We decided to do it there and put a big white tent over the court. It ended up being so beautiful!

We contacted every guest and vendor, and by Friday morning things came together. Our families worked so hard for us and made the transition to the new venue smooth. We will never be able to repay them for their efforts in making the day perfect!

My Look: I wore the “Pearl” gown by Hayley Paige. I would have never seen myself in this dress! It had an asymmetrical layered skirt and strapless sweetheart neckline, which I accessorized with a pearl necklace and a veil.

My Wedding Stylist: Audrey Moon, Nordstrom Wedding Suite Park Meadows

My stylist, Audrey, was so amazing at helping me find a gown that I felt absolutely perfect in. She and I had exchanged a few emails before my appointment, and she had dresses ready when I arrived. I had a big crowd with me that day; I come from a family of very opinionated and powerful women, and Audrey was accommodating and patient throughout the appointment!

I tried on a variety of short dresses before she talked me into trying on this gown. I had always dreamed of wearing a short dress, but man, did that change the minute I put that dress on! I was immediately brought to tears. It was only the fourth dress I tried on, and I knew it was the one. My entourage agreed, and we ordered it that day.

Our Special Moments: Throughout the night, we took countless pictures in the photo booth and danced with our friends and family for hours. We even got to spend time with our puppy on the dance floor, although we’re not sure he enjoyed that as much as we did!

T.J. and I fell so much more in love that day. Our love can weather any storm!

Photos by Caitlin Alysse 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.

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 Tianna and Teddy’s big day was a gorgeous, modern affair, clearly filled with a lot of love–and plenty of fun too!

The Scene: October 5, 2013, Sunset Room at National Harbor in Oxon Hill, MD

Teddy’s and my vision for the wedding was to make it simple yet elegant. We wanted a wedding that represented us as a couple.

In keeping with the season, our wedding designer, Pamela Beard from Art of Wow, filled the space with beautiful fall flowers and colors, lots of oranges and yellows. She incorporated my favorite flower–the stargazer lily–as well as other fall flowers like spider mums.

It was a morning ceremony, and we wanted everything to be bright, light and airy. Windows surrounding the entire area where the ceremony and the reception were held allowed natural light from the sun to come in, and our photographer was able to capture beautiful pictures.

The day of, everything was organized and started on time and just flowed so nicely.

My Look: I wore the ‘Nadia’ gown by Rosa Clará. The color was a natural white with a strapless sweetheart neckline and asymmetrical organza layers. I accessorized it with a belt by Cara.

I kept the rest simple with diamondlike teardrop earrings and a bracelet. My hair accessory was the ‘Elle’ flower hair clip by Nina. I believed that my dress was a statement in itself and I didn’t need a veil or a lot of jewelry.

My Wedding Stylist: Stacey Kallenberg, Nordstrom Wedding Suite at Tysons Corner Center

Throughout this process I learned that the one thing that has got to be on point is your dress! I really appreciated that Stacey took the time to get to know me, where my wedding would be held and at what time of day, the types of dresses I liked, what Teddy’s personality is like…all that was discussed before selecting the dresses, trying on various styles and seeing what looked really beautiful on me.

Having that discussion helped to narrow down my options. The great thing is that the stylists told me about an upcoming Rosa Clará trunk show. Stacey didn’t want me to be too eager and wanted me to see other dresses! She was right–I made my selection at the trunk show event and I felt amazing.

When I started crying, I knew that THIS was my dress. I felt like a bride and I knew that Teddy would love the dress.

The stylists were amazing and very helpful, professional but personable and honest. In this business you have to be, because it is such an important day for a bride!

Our Special Moments: One of my favorite moments was walking down the aisle, seeing Teddy at the end and all of the people, the flowers and how beautiful everything looked–but most importantly the look on his face. It was amazing! I felt like I was walking through heaven.

Photography by Shauna Ploeger, Photograpy Du Jour

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.

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Nikki & Rene share the story of their romantic Texas country wedding. We love this sweet, grateful and happy couple!

The Scene: September 21, 2013, Hyatt Hill Country Resort in San Antonio, Texas

My family and I have been visiting the Hyatt Hill Country Resort since I was a little girl. It has always been my dream to get married on their beautiful grounds, so when Rene popped the question, there was no doubt in my mind where I wanted our special day to take place.

Making it even more unique, the Hyatt Hill Country Resort is where we experienced our first kiss and decided we wanted to be a couple after almost fifteen years of friendship!

Our vision was a sweet, romantic, elegant wedding nestled in the heart of the Texas hill country. Our day could not have been more wonderful! After a long, rainy week, we awoke to a crisp, but sun-filled wedding day…the first day of fall!

With the help from our parents, family, friends, and Country Sugar Events, our big day was all we imagined, and more!

Our reception took place in the Luckenback Pavilion under hundreds of swag lights that lit up the rustic beams. Our guests dined on a variety of foods, which included a fresh avocado bar, custom mac-n-cheese, and of course Texas barbeque!

A stunning floral chandelier was the focal point of our reception, which our guests danced underneath all night long.

The little details we included in our wedding were so special to us. I was honored to include my great-grandmother’s vintage bluebonnet broach attached to my bouquet. I was also gifted with my grandmother’s vintage gold and opal ring that has been in our family for many years.

Other amazing details: adorable tissue paper flowers for our flower girls, custom-made program fans, my handsome groom’s sweet baby blue and navy striped bow tie, and even a doggie biscuit bar in honor of our beloved dog, Lola!

My Wedding Stylist: Emily Nichols, Nordstrom La Cantera Wedding Suite

What a blessing Emily was! She made the dress shopping experience so enjoyable and relaxing for my mom and me. Emily listened to exactly what I was looking for and pulled a number of dresses into a dressing room so I could choose what to try on. The moment she drew the curtain back, I knew the center dress was “the one!”

My Look: My Matthew Christopher ‘Sofia’ gown was perfect: a trumpet gown with floral lace overlay. The sweetheart neckline and distressed, unfinished edges were a perfect fit for our Texas country vibe.

I finished off the look with a crystal and satin sash by Nina, which complemented the dress perfectly.

Our Special Moments: Oh, where to begin! Our beautiful ceremony on the main lawn was just so breathtaking; I could hardly believe my eyes as I rounded the corner to walk down the aisle to my groom.

Our first dance to David Gray’s “This Year’s Love” gave us the chance to really take in the stunning decorations of our reception, and to connect as finally being husband and wife. And our sparkler send off was the perfect way to end our magical night!

Rene and I are aware that never again will we have the most special people in our lives all together in one place. The smiles on every face, and knowing that they truly enjoyed their day with us…that is what we will treasure most.

Photographs by Loft Photographie

 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.

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As the season of cozy commences, we’re inspired by the fall and winter brides who have added a savvy touch to their big-day look: layers. These “cover girls” are wearing styles suited to the theme, location and chill factor of their weddings, from decadent fur stoles to sweet, colorful cardigans.

Hero

via One Wed | via First Class Weddings  | via Style Me Pretty  | via Style Me Pretty  | via Project Wedding

The Nordstrom Wedding Suite, along with other departments, has a plethora of options for warming up your wedding day. No matter your style, our Wedding Stylists can help you stay comfortable during photo ops and beyond. Here are a few of our favorite ideas.

Wrap It Up: Decadent and dramatic, these faux-fur options lend a touch of opulence to either a big-city affair or a snow-kissed winter wedding.

Eliza J Faux Fur Stole | Lulu Lush Faux Fur Circle Scarf

Coat Check: From a sophisticated dinner jacket to a classy wrap, these coats will have you looking chic while you dash from the limo to the chapel. 

The Kooples Contrast Collar Jacket | Tahari ‘Marla’ Cutaway Wrap Coat

Like a Glove: We love the rustic appeal of a pair of knit gloves to keep you warm while having photos taken or at an outdoor reception.

Echo ‘Fringy’ Fingerless Gloves | MICHAEL Michael Kors Fingerless Gloves

Simple Elegance: You’ll be the picture of grace with one of these lighter cover-ups: a soft organza stole or a lacy beaded bolero.

Bernie of New York Organza Stole  | Pisarro Nights Beaded Lace Shawl

For more shawls, stoles, coats and other sweet layering options, shop wedding accessories online or connect with a free Wedding Stylist.

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