Botanical New York Wedding
What could be dreamier than bringing an enchanted forest wedding indoors? Alexandra and Scott’s wedding was a bit Marie Antoinette, a bit The Secret Garden, and a whole lot of glam — as you can see here in the images from Tammy Swales Photography. Seriously, how incredible are the hanging branch centerpieces?
From the bride, Alexandra: We wanted our wedding style and feel to be a culmination of the two of us. I am a girly girl and Scott is a guy’s guy! In my head, I kept thinking of the scene from
Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” when they have a fancy dinner party outside… sort of Marie Antoinette fancy but when she gets into reading Rousseau… a bit more natural. Scott and I have always had the “I love you more” teasing argument, which included a love of the phrase, “I love you to the moon and back” and our own adaption “I love you line” (because it doesn’t end, get it?!). A lot of our decor and stationery revolved around the moon and stars, and an evening under the stars! We both have large families who we are very close with. We wanted to incorporate that too, and did so by highlighting all the past weddings in the cocktail tent! My grandmother was my honorary matron of honor, and it is her engagement ring that I wear!
As far as our color scheme, we used a lot of pale blues, and tried to design the invitations as though you were looking at a night sky. In the reception tent, we wanted things to feel airy and ethereal, so we used lots of light colors, mixed with naturals, like beige and the green from all of the moss (we couldn’t get enough moss). There were tons of DIY projects! Not that we didn’t also have tons of help! Pretty much anything that was paper I designed and either printed from home or had professionally done. Our family and friends all joined in to tie ribbons, cut paper, and glues things together. Of course, we had help with assembly and organization from our wedding planner and her team as well! When it came to the big stuff, we left it to the professionals. For the crystals over the dance floor, the tablescapes, and the installment over the bar, I would draw detailed sketches and work with them to adapt what they could do with what we came up with. So much work went into everything, and we were lucky in that our very supportive family and friends were there to help us out with all the crazy projects we came up with. A special shout out to my mother, who deserves a great big medal for all of her hard work!
It’s hard to pick out favorite memories, as when I think about our wedding day, the whole thing quickly plays through my mind like a mini movie. Starting immediately after, I would make Scott sit there and replay things over and over from the beginning to end, because I was afraid of losing any of the details! It really truly was the best day of my life, and I think just waking up that morning and knowing it was a day I had been thinking about for years and years was a really cool experience. You plan the most specific details, and you daydream, but you don’t really know what its going to be like until it happens! That, for me, was extra exciting. And of course, seeing that handsome guy at the end of the aisle. A tux suits him well.
What advice do you have for brides planning their weddings? Write your thank you notes immediately after the wedding. We are still (shamefully) writing ours… Accept the fact that some things aren’t going to go as planned. I didn’t like hearing this… but it’s true! ABSORB EVERYTHING. Take moments when you can and take everything in! It goes by so quickly! EAT. One of my favorite things was our hors d’oeuvres, and we were still taking pictures during cocktail hour, then trying to make a few rounds. I asked to have a plate of my favorites set at the head table, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Lastly, Pick three things that you couldn’t live without on your wedding day (aside from the essentials like love, and your fiance, and family)… Our wedding planner had us do this and it really helped! For a while we were all over the place with figuring out the style, but focusing and narrowing down choices got the ball rolling. You can’t do EVERYTHING you see on pinterest… though it is tempting.
Pre-Ceremony: “Forever,” Ben Harper (My voice coach here transposed this one for us! It was our song from college, and we wanted to incorporate it somewhere)
Processional: “Seven Years,” Norah Jones
Bride’s Processional: “Moon River”
First Dance: “It Had to Be You”
Father/Daughter Dance: “You Never Can Tell,” Chuck Berry
Mother/Son Dance: “Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong
Wedding Location: Rochester, NY / Photographer: Tammy Swales Photography / Ceremony Venue: St. Louis Catholic Church / Reception Venue: Private Residence / Event Planner and Linens: Chantiza Stern of Table Toppers of Rochester / Floral Design: Wisteria Flowers and Gifts / Event Styling: Bride / Wedding Dress: Reem Acra / Wedding Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Earrings: Elizabeth Cole Jewelry / Garter: BHLDN / Hair: Sherry Brown of Shear Hair Etc. Design Studio / Makeup: Joan Lincoln / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm Occasions / Groom and Groomsmen’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang / Wedding Caterer: Joe Prattico / Wedding Cake: Premier Pastry / Pies: Monica’s Pies / Pastries: Cafe Caruso / Wedding Music: Nik and the Nice Guys / Party Rentals: Hank Parker Party and Tent Rentals / Vintage Dishes: Petunia Rose / Lighting: Ed Hufsmith of High Wire Lighting / House Lighting: Ken Estes with Estes Country Gardens & Design / Additional Landscaping: Blackwood Management / Videographer: Brian Swereda of Video Tech Productions / Wedding Invitations: Bride