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Elegant Summer Aberdeen Manor Wedding

You might have heard this couple’s amazing story, and today it’s all coming full circle. Following the surprise visit from her military fiance – plus 4 months and 6 rounds of chemotherapy later- this unbelievably courageous bride married her beloved with one of the loveliest weddings we’ve ever come across. Dressed in a tulle skirted Tara Keely, she managed to steal the show, and Lady & The Lens was on hand to capture every bit. Pay a visit to the gallery and don’t miss the film from Wholehearted Wedding.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Manor
Styles
Elegant

From The Bride… It was almost 6 years in the making and August 31st, 2014 was the day we had been waiting for. My fiance Drew and I knew it was going to be such a special day with all of our family and friends traveling from all over the country to celebrate our love. My very recent cancer diagnosis made our wedding day even more meaningful. 4 months before our big day, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Adenocarcinoma which is a form of Colorectal Cancer, at the young age of 25. It was certainly something that we were not prepared for. Drew and I had been living apart for just a few short months before I received the devastating news. He was stationed in South Carolina for his work with the Navy and I was back in my hometown planning our dream wedding. Luckily, the Navy granted Drew military leave to move to Indiana to be with me as I underwent aggressive chemotherapy. AOL reached out and did a short story about my husband and I which you can see here.

The following months were a struggle as I continued to plan my wedding and receive a total of 6 rounds of chemotherapy. Thankfully, the chemotherapy I was prescribed did not make me lose my hair. I was so ecstatic knowing that I would be able to have my “dream wedding look”.

The big day came and it really couldn’t have been more perfect. It was the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in my hometown of Valparaiso, IN which is a short drive from Chicago. I was feeling great physically as it was my “off” week for treatment. The weather was a perfect 80 degrees which was ideal for our short outdoor garden ceremony. The day started very early with hair and makeup at my parents house. We had to get an early start due to having 10 bridesmaids! 7 hours and a few mimosas later we were ready! The videographers (who generously donated their services ) arrived and it was time for my “first look” with my dad, Scott. I couldn’t have imagined a better reaction from my dad as the one I received that day and I feel so grateful to have that on camera to watch for years to come. It was raw emotion and lots of happy tears that I will never forget.

I chose a stunning Tara Keely by Lazaro gown. 3 years ago, I noticed a beautiful dress on Pinterest that converted into a short lace dress for the reception. I knew I had to have it as I have been a dancer since the age of 3 and I knew dancing at the reception in a huge ball gown would not go over well. I wanted to have the princess look with lots of tulle but still be able to dance/party at the reception. After an exhausting search, I finally located the designer and had it shipped to a store just outside of Chicago. The minute I stepped into the dress, I fell in love. At the reception, I decided I wanted to reveal my short dress in a fun, unique way. During the father-daughter dance, we stopped mid song, my bridesmaids surrounded me while I took off my tulle skirt and then started a choreographed dance with all 10 girls and my father to the song Brickhouse.

Aberdeen Manor was our venue of choice from the beginning. It has the charm and small town wedding feel that we were looking for. The venue has a small chapel on the property but we chose to have our ceremony in the garden which was right outside the reception hall.

The flowers and centerpieces were my favorite part of the entire wedding day look. I knew I wanted to chose a vendor that wasn’t your typical florist so I decided on hiring a local floral designer. We met several times before the wedding to ensure she knew exactly what I wanted. My vision was light neutral colors with hints of pink throughout. I requested her to use my favorite flowers which consist of hydrangeas, orchids, dahlias and roses. For all of the bouquets she traveled up to a dahlia farm in Michigan and handpicked them herself. Our bouquets complimented the floor length, champagne colored bridesmaid dresses perfectly. On our head table that seated 22, I knew I wanted something very romantic so we chose to have 70 lace wrapped candles at different heights to line the center of the long oval table with small hydrangea bouquets in mercury glass vases spread throughout. Our designer really took our vision to the next level and we couldn’t have been happier with the end result.

We decided to have cupcakes for our guests and a small cutting cake for the bride, groom and bridal party. Even though our cake was small, we had it suspended from the ceiling on a platform. Being that Drew is a lieutenant junior grade in the Navy, we cut our cake with his sword that he received when he commissioned as an officer in 2012.

The ceremony and reception was so magical from the minute it started to the minute it ended. The speeches from our matron of honor, best man and my father were the icing on the cake. The room was filled with so much love and happiness. The one thing that Drew and I cherish most from our wedding day is definitely our gifted video from the amazingly talented team at Wholehearted Wedding Film Co.

Even though Drew and I have been through very difficult times, we both feel it made our wedding day that much more unforgettable. In sickness and in health took on a whole new meaning and we really couldn’t be more blessed to have each other. I hope you enjoy our wedding photos and magical video as much as we do. :)

Photography: Lady & The Lens | Videography: Wholehearted Wedding Film Co | Floral Design: Intertwine By Kelly Lenard | Wedding Dress: Tara Keely By Lazaro | Cake: Designer Desserts | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Hair: Center Of Attention | Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Ballroom Reception: Aberdeen Manor | Bridal Jewelry: Kate Spade | Makeup: Krissy Vanderwoude | Outdoor Ceremony: Aberdeen Manor

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SMP Blogger Bride Contributor: Meet Ali!

You might recognize her as the voice behind A Dash of Details, but today Ali is joining the family as SMP’s newest Blogger Bride. She’ll be giving us an inside look into her wedding plans, and what better way to get started than a little intro from the Bride-to-be herself! Read her sweet story below, and be sure to visit the gallery of loveliness a la Elyse Hall Photography!

From Ali… Hi Pretty Brides! I’m Ali, the voice and face of A Dash of Details, a life and style blog that is inspired by the details of my daily life in Dallas, Texas. I have been dreaming about my wedding since I was a little girl (I mean what girl hasn’t!) so you can imagine I was over the moon excited when Style Me Pretty asked me to be their next Blogger Bride. I cannot wait to share all of my wedding details with y’all, but really there would be no wedding without my best friend and now fiancé Patrick.

So, I know you are all dying to hear “the how we met story”. Well, Patrick and I met a little over 7 years ago at the University of Kansas (Rock Chalk!) on the first day of Calculus 101. He happened to sit next to me. In my head I was squealing with excitement since he was by far the cutest guy in the class. I later found out from a friend that he had spotted me at a party earlier that week and knew I was going to be in the class. Needless to say the rest is history!

Well, there is a little more to the story I suppose. Patrick and I dated throughout college and then did a few years of long distance as both of us were following our dreams. After a few years apart, I finally decided to move to a small town in Ohio so we could be together. He is, without a doubt, my best friend and partner in crime.

Patrick and I spend a lot of time together. Especially when we were living in a small town, so being able to surprise me with an engagement was going to be difficult, or at least that is what I thought. Back in October, Patrick asked me to schedule a photographer to take pictures for our New Year’s card. Really, I should have thought something was up at that point, but without a hesitation or second thought I scheduled a friend to take our pictures for December 23, 2014. A few months later, we flew out to Arizona to spend the holidays with my family. We landed in Scottsdale and headed up to the Boulders to take our photos. After a few shot were taken, she asked us to turn around for a different angle and when I flipped towards Patrick he was on one knee asking me to spend the rest of our lives together. It was a moment in time I will cherish forever. After the engagement, I was surprised at dinner by both of our families and all of my friends! I felt like a princess and the night felt like a fairy tale I never wanted to end.

Like I said before, I am so excited to be sharing my wedding journey with all of you! I plan to take you inside all the details of planning process from how to get your dream wedding while still staying under budget, scouting for the best engagement shoot locations, wedding fashion and beauty, activities to do with your Bridesmaids’, getting in shape for the big day, easy DIY’s for all you crafty brides out there, to my very own wedding shower. With the help of a great wedding planner, friends and family, I cannot wait to create the wedding I always dreamed of in my hometown of Scottsdale, Arizona. If there is one thing to always remember it’s at the end of the day, I (and you) get to marry the sweetheart of your dreams, so let’s get started! xoxo

Photography: Elyse Hall Photography | Ring: Tivol Kansas City | Blogger: Ali Bronska | Coffee Shop: Liberty Market | Heels: Steven by Steve Madden | Jeans: Frame Denim | Shirt: Elizabeth and James | Sunglasses: Celine | Sweater: J.Crew | Watch: Michele

Organic and Elegant Laurel Hall Wedding

Weddings like this make my heart happy. For these two triathletes their Big Day was an ode to nature, and naturally with April Foster Events behind the scenes it was extraordinary. Guests gathered for terrace cocktails and merriment underneath twinkling lights while the Bride donned a delicate J P Parker floral crown. Every moment captured by Megan W Photography is pure wedding bliss and we can relive it all right here.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Outdoor
Styles
Elegance

From The Bride…Mitch and I have a somewhat unique story of how we met. We were both at a triathlon (I signed up to compete last minute while I was home from school, and he was reminded the night before that he had agreed to cheer on a friend at this particular race). As fate would have it, he noticed me during the race, and I asked to meet him for coffee. Mitch and I have a shared love of exploring and adventuring, especially in the great outdoors, and when we began planning the wedding, our undeniable love of nature had to be in all our wedding details.

Every piece of this wedding was lovingly thought out. I found an artist on Etsy who helped me custom design our wedding invitations with watercolor. We chose to have the ceremony and reception at the breathtakingly beautiful Laurel Hall, a tree-covered property nestled right in the middle of Indianapolis, Indiana. I knew I had found my dress the minute I put it on – classic and timeless, with a hint of early 1960s glamour. Bridesmaid dresses were found on BHLDN, and perfectly complemented my gown. Friends helped create signage and programs, and streamers were hand-made to celebrate us down the aisle. And when it came to photographing our day, a lot of care was put into hiring an amazing photographer. We are so happy with Megan Wynn’s eye for beauty and her ability to capture our day.

Not long after we had booked the venue, Mitch and I made the decision to move to Portland, Oregon. Instantly, the mood of the wedding changed when we realized this was going to be more of a homecoming celebration. Our wedding was going to be the first opportunity in months to spend time with family and friends since our move across the country, and we wanted to have lots of liveliness, merriment, hugs, and stories to catch up on.

Mitch and I love the wilderness (much of the reason why we’ve always dreamed of ending up in the Pacific Northwest), and we knew we wanted to weave our love of forests and sunshine into the day. Details were left very natural – raw wood, greenery, mismatched crystal glasses, simple lights strung up on the terrace that were reminiscent of stars.

The ceremony was sweet and simple. Guests sat in mis-matched wood chairs, and sang our favorite hymns. Mitch’s dad married us (he also happened to make the weathered wood arbor), and I received the wedding ring worn by my great-grandmother. John Muir quotes were read, and we walked down the aisle as newly-weds to the sounds of a fiddle, guitar, and cello.

Dinner was held on Laurel Hall’s terrace, right before dusk. Guests enjoyed grown-up food stations (pasta, tacos, and sliders), local craft beer, as well as milk and homemade cookies from old family recipes. The evening continued with dancing to the sounds of an eight-piece band just inside from the star-lit backyard.

This was the most lovely day of my life; being married to my best friend has turned out to be even sweeter than the buttercream frosting layered between our unembellished wedding cake.

Photography: Megan W Photography | Wedding Planner: April Foster Events | Floral Design: J P Parker | Wedding Dress: Raimon Bundo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Hair: Terra Salon | Groom's Attire: Banana Republic | Decor: Violet Vintage | Makeup: The Makeup Studio By Danielle Wilson | Photography Assistant: Melody Carpenter | Venue: Laurel Hall

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30 Winter Bridal Essentials

Summer holds the reputation as “wedding season,” but we believe these winter months can also be the perfect backdrop for a cozy-chic soiree. With the help of our Look Book, we chose our favorite bridal essentials that’ll make all your winter wishes come true. From sparkly jewels to glamorous stoles, we’ve got you covered!

Winter Bridal Essentials
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