We’re traveling back in time for Mallory and Chris’ Dutch Renaissance wedding with moody flowers, feathered accents and clever nods to Game of Thrones you can’t help but to love. An industrial loft setting made way for the thoughtfully curated design elements from pearl and sky events – a wire grid backdrop bedecked with swirly mustard and rust blooms, velvet dinner tables scattered with brass urns and calligraphed pomegranates and a whole wall of Dutch Masters artwork. Prepare to be royally flushed by this inspiring Dutch Renaissance wedding gallery from River West Photography below!
From Published + Pretty: Mallory Youngstrom and Chris Sawula met in 2015 in Alabama where Mallory was in medical school and Chris was a librarian. After swiping right, the two had their first date over pizza and cocktails and they were instantly smitten. They bonded over being non-southerners in the Deep South, their love of dogs, and the importance of good bourbon. Although they lived an hour apart, Mallory and Chris saw each other as much as possible. Once Mallory graduated from med school and matched into an OBGYN residency in Atlanta, their one hour distance transformed into four hours. Already very much in love, Chris made the trek every other weekend with Mya, their lab-pit mix; thankfully, Chris was able to join her in Atlanta less than a year later. Chris proposed in 2018 after a night of tacos and margaritas and some less than subtle hints about what he intended to do after dinner.
Both Mallory and Chris are extremely busy professionals so they knew they’d need to enlist the help of a planner/designer to orchestrate a celebration with their 80 favorite people, the vast majority traveling to Atlanta for the weekend; enter Heather McMichen of pearl and sky events. Planner and bride hit it off immediately and worked together over an 18 month period to design a celebration that perfectly reflected the couple.
They chose a Dutch Renaissance aesthetic that appealed to both the flower-loving bride and the historian groom. Antique brass vases and candlesticks juxtaposed with modern materials like acrylic breathed new life into the vintage vibes. The bride’s bouquet was a showstopper, dripping with dahlias, orchids, roses and unripe dates complimented by purple kale, gold fern fronds and pheasant feathers. The bouquet was tied with silk and velvet ribbons and a delicate blue hankie that was especially meaningful as Mallory was the 7th bride in her family to walk down the aisle with it.
Mallory’s best friend Joe served as her “Man of Honor” so he, of course, needed a jaw-dropping floral element of his own; Heather McMichen crafted a floral epaulet (an entirely original design!) to pair with his feather pocket square and bowtie from Brackish Bowties. Even the couple’s dogs (Mya, Truman and Maddie) got to wear their own florals for family portraits prior to the ceremony! Personal details included nods to Game of Thrones (table assignments and custom koozies), the couple’s dogs (custom crest designed by a friend) and, of course, bourbon by way of a separate tasting bar during the cocktail hour.
The bride’s grandmother even embroidered an ‘S’ for Sawula onto every dinner napkin and also made embroidered handkerchiefs for the ceremony and richly upholstered pillows for the venue’s lounge sets. The couple’s personality was also showcased in their music choices – Chris walked down the aisle to the Throne Room Theme from Star Wars and Mallory asked the string quartet to do an arrangement of Lizzo’s Truth Hurts for the cocktail hour. Knowing that exceptional food and beverage are prerequisites to any good party, the vendor team created a “butler-passed family style” dinner menu and the custom cocktails and wine service began prior to the ceremony to set the tone for the bacchanal to come!
Planner/Designer/Florist Heather McMichen wanted the reception to feel as much like a Renaissance feast as possible; impactful elements included tabletops laden with produce (artichokes, papaya, seckel pears, etc) intertwined with the florals and a gallery wall of Dutch Masters paintings behind the head table. As the newlyweds danced the night away with their nearest and dearest, hearts full and hand pies at the ready, it was clear that this night would live on in legend just like the fêtes that inspired it.
Well, winter has come and gone for these fierce lovebirds! If you love the Dutch Renaissance wedding vibes so beautifully on display here, be sure to glimpse more Dutch still life inspiration this way next.
Planning, Event Design and Florals: Heather McMichen of pearl and sky events
Photography: River West Photography
Venue: The Roof at Ponce City Market
Bridal Gown: Watters
Bridal Shoes: Vintage
Suiting: Suit Supply
Hair & Makeup: Vigilante Cosmetics
Rentals: Unique Event Elements
Linens: BBJ Linen
Invitation Suite + Menu: Paper Source
Calligraphy: Peach + Valley Designs
Catering: Soirée Catering
Wedding Cake: Gingerspice Bakery
DJ and Photobooth: Ballroom Blitz
Wedding Submission Services: Published + Pretty