24 Best Ideas to Steal From Our Real Weddings of 2014
From kumquats to neon signs, it was a year of extraordinary marriage ceremonies and the parties that followed.
Wedding traditions may remain steadfast, but wedding celebrations are always changing. This year was no exception, with fêtes filled with details as unique as the brides and grooms themselves. Here, some of our favorite highlights from our featured events to get you inspired when planning your own affair.
Casey and Ross wanted to encourage their guests to share the big day, and they let their sentiments be known. They stashed these glittery hashtag bits from The Confetti Bar in their welcome bags and a few friends even tossed them onto the couple during their processional.
Double the Fun
If your loved ones are all in one place already, why not spread the wedding festivities over an entire weekend? Christen and Billy hosted a two-part celebration in Palm Springs earlier this year. After a wedding ceremony in the desert and a small reception, day two included a pool party followed by cocktails and a seated dinner. After dinner and dancing, everyone jumped in the pool once more.
Two is better than one, isn’t it? When she went shopping for her big day, Jane didn’t set out to have separates, but her search for something seasonally appropriate, comfortable, and figure-flattering led her to a navy blouse by Marisa Baratelli and a skirt by Anne Barge. Her bridesmaids followed suit, wearing Ralph Lauren tops and Carmen Marc Valvo skirts.
An Everlasting Bouquet
JoJo wanted a peony bouquet, but there weren’t any in season for her January wedding. The solution? Late fashion designer and close friend L’Wren Scott fashioned the fluffy flowers from feathers and bound them with velvet ribbon.
For Molly’s winter wedding, Mi Mi Design actually started the bridal bouquet with kumquats, since they signify the season but add brightness to the surroundings. Privet berry, ranunculus, lisianthus, eskimo roses, camellia leaf, and phalaenopsis orchids rounded out the arrangement.
Birds of a Feather
When it came to choosing bow ties for this destination wedding, Jared and his groomsmen selected ones by Brackish made of silk and guinea feathers. Even Bill Murray is a fan—he wore one to George Clooney’s wedding!
It’s a First
This couple skipped the lengthy portrait session between ceremony and reception for an intimate “first look” before exchanging their I do’s. Coleen says it was one of her favorite moments of the day. “It was ours and ours alone,” she explains.
Shake, Rattle, and Roll
Tiffany and Nicholas gifted her nephews (ages 2 through 8) with instruments for Christmas two months earlier, so the attendants could practice and really make some noise as they walked down the aisle.
For a dog’s-eye view of the party, Casey and Ross strapped a GoPro camera to their pooch’s back. Casey’s sister later edited a time-lapsed version of the ceremony as seen from the canine’s perspective, including him lying down in the grass and then quickly standing at attention when the newlyweds leaned in for their first kiss.
For this seaside celebration in San Diego, Jess and Clint draped rope sourced from a shipyard artfully over their ceremony backdrop. They then affixed dainty blooms to the nautical garland.
An Idea That Has Roots
For her Montauk celebration, Casey registered for a special horticultural license to export the heart-shaped Hoya kerrii plants from Thailand to use as escort cards.
Just because you’re having a formal affair, doesn’t mean your menu has to be stuffy. During the cocktail hour at Brooke and Shea’s southern California wedding, guests snacked on Brooke’s favorite meal: a burger and fries.
Breakfast for Dinner
Who says you have to serve dinner at your wedding? At this South Carolina soirée, guests enjoyed popular brunch fare, including mini cinnamon roll lollipops, fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits, chicken and waffles, made-to-order omelets, mimosas, and pour-over coffee.
Molly and Sam kept their guests entertained and ended up with creative keepsakes once their wedding was over by covering tables with paper runners and crayons. “One of our favorite things to do is to come up with silly games, poems, and puzzles,” Molly says. “We thought it would be a great way for guests to engage with one another during dinner and for them to write notes to us too.”
“A few years ago, one of my friends filmed a wedding with a British groom, and everyone wore the crowns throughout dinner and toasts,” Paige says. “It looked too magical not to file that idea away for our own celebration.”
Bring the Outdoors In
Fern Studio designed this vignette by draping lush greenery over the staircase and tucking candles inside glass votives set on sliced wood.
Work of Art
Already booked your photographer and videographer? Why not consider hiring a painter to capture your big day? Live-event artist Greg Kalamar used acrylic paints on canvas to illustrate JoJo and Eric’s reception. By the time the last glass of Champagne had been poured, he had committed the revelry to canvas for a beautiful memento.
Fun and Games
To keep their guests entertained at their California wedding, Brooke and Shea set up an area for Ping-Pong matches.
Lindsay and Andy opted for a nontraditional guest book at their destination wedding in Florence. Their friends and loved ones signed a 1914 Webster’s dictionary with colored pencils and flagged encouraging words with rainbow-hued tags, creating a meaningful heirloom for the couple.
Guests adored these hand-felted squirrels by Facci Designs, especially their details such as the French beret, at CJ and Adrien’s South Carolina wedding.
A Family Affair
Is your grandmother famous for her chocolate chip cookies? Do what this bride did and have her bake up some of her noteworthy sweets as favors, packaged in custom baggies.
For Christen and Billy’s desert nuptials, Bash Please suggested having a neon sign reading “love is vast and infinite.” The sign was created to be a surprise in the middle of the landscape that guests could see from the reception. It was lit up at dusk, and the newlyweds walked out to pose for photos before the words, which now glow on in their home.
With Bells On
These newlyweds adorned a 1964 Ford Mustang with paper bells for a festive getaway ride.
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