Alesia & Nick: One Year Later

Alesia and Nick are beautiful people both inside and out and together, they make a beautiful couple. Their wedding was one I will always remember because of the thoughtfulness and gentle sincerity that resonated throughout the entire day. They recently celebrated their one-year anniversary and I was thrilled to get a chance to look back with both of them and reflect on their special day.

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Michelle: Time travel back one year ago…what would you change about your wedding day?

Alesia and Nick: We would have rearranged the formal photograph time so that we could have enjoyed the cocktail hour.  We didn’t get the opportunity to mingle during cocktail hour and that was one area where we had put a lot of work into thinking through the music, the food and decorations to create the ambiance for that particular part of the day. We also would have hired a videographer. We felt like there were moments we missed and I would love the opportunity now to look back on a video and reminisce about our day.

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Michelle: What was your favorite moment from your wedding day?

Alesia and Nick: This is a hard one…there were so many! The vow exchange and the poem dedication to our grandparents probably top the list because they were so heartfelt and meaningful for so many reasons.

Michelle: The vows you wrote will remain in my memory forever. You captured the entire congregation – you could hear a pin drop!  Did you keep those vows somewhere?  What made you decide to write your own vows?

Alesia and Nick: I keep a copy of both of our vows in my wallet. I pull them out and refer to them whenever I need a reminder of what I signed up for and what I committed to doing as a wife. My grandmother raised me to believe that all you have in this world is God and your word and if you say you are going to do something, then that’s what you had better do. I wanted our vows to be those words we would live by in our marriage.

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I asked Alesia if we could share the vows with our blog readers as they were so beautiful. She kindly agreed.

Alesia’s vows to Nick:

First, I thank God for placing you in my life as I am grateful for your presence.Without you, I would not have faced some of my own fears and shortfalls. You give me strength. I wouldn’t have our beautiful daughter. Thank you for allowing me to be me and loving me anyways. I know I am not always the easiest person to love but somehow, you see past that. You’ve helped me understand that not everyone will look at things the way I do, nor should they but I have to accept that and be okay with it. And because of this inspiration and growth. I chose you.

Nick’s vows to Alesia:

I am not the same person I was four years ago and I thank you for making the man I am today. You’ve forced me to own up to my faults, my insecurities and my misgivings. It has not been easy but it has been what I’ve needed. You have been what I needed. I thank God for bringing you to me.

Michelle: I loved the way you gave the single girls at your wedding a single white rose in place of the traditional bouquet toss.  What made that moment even more beautiful were the words that you spoke to your friends.  What inspired you in that moment?

Alesia and Nick: The majority of the ladies were really good friends and/or family. I think that sometimes we, as women, compare ourselves to one another instead of living in our own moments and truly allowing God and the universe to guide us. Society tells us there is a “right” way to go about life but when you really stop and think about things, there isn’t a right or wrong approach to anything. There may be preferences which we are all entitled to but each person has the right to choose when, how and who they spend their lives with. Life is short and tomorrow isn’t promised. Live in the moment and let go of preconceptions and notions that there has to be one way to do things. God has a plan for everyone – we have to be open and receptive to it even when it doesn’t look like we think it should look like. I really wanted each of the women at our wedding to really feel special, not because they caught the bouquet but just because they are special.

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Michelle: What advice could you pass along for their wedding day?  And how about any words of wisdom on the first year of marriage?

Alesia and Nick: Incorporate everything that you and your future mate would want and don’t be concerned with what others have to say or did or didn’t do in their weddings – it makes for a day you will cherish for a lifetime; make the planning fun by not getting to stressed over little things – if something doesn’t come out the way you expect just go with it…no one will really know.

The first year is the same as the last year but with a lifelong commitment. This means you must do the work to keep the marriage intact, happy and fulfilling.

Images by Vic Ledan Photography

A Lesson in Etiquette with Rebecca Rose Creative

We are so incredibly blessed to work with Becca Atchison, the founder and creator of Rebecca Rose Creative (RRC), a spinoff of the exclusive event planning and design firm, Rebecca Rose Events. RRC provides the same nationally recognized quality and creativity associated with the Rebecca Rose brand. RRC provides services rooted in aesthetics, including event design, floral design, styling, graphic design and print production. Becca is not only extremely talented but also has a beautiful way of expressing herself. I love talking to her and was thrilled that she graciously agreed to give us her take on etiquette revolving around the ever-expanding print production involved in weddings.

MW: Is there anything your clients could tell you in terms of themselves, their wedding and/or their artistic preferences that would make the invitation suite design go more smoothly?

BA: We aren’t “order-takers” at Rebecca Rose. We prefer to guide our clients through every detail of their invitations and other print. This saves us from getting into issues down the line that could be costly to fix. In general, though, it is important for brides to put thought into how their invitations will tie into their event. Your invitation kick-starts your wedding celebration and should give the guests a visual expectation of what the wedding will be about. Having cohesiveness between the printed papers and your actual event is critical. My best advice to brides is to have an open mind when you sit down with one of our designers.

MW: What are common mistakes made from an etiquette perspective on an invitation suite?

BA: Again, at Rebecca Rose, we use our education and experience to guide you through this process to ensure there are no mistakes. But one thing I have noticed is that some brides don’t request enough information on their response card. The response card is such an easy way to gather information from the guests to avoid following up with them close to the wedding date. For example, in addition to providing the traditional space for the guest’s name and whether or not they plan to attend your wedding, provide a space for them to include the number of guests attending. This way, you are perfectly clear on how many members of their family are able to celebrate with you. Also, to avoid an awkward moment at your reception, ask your guests to include any dietary restrictions or allergies.

There are respectful ways to provide your guests information about your wedding on your invitation as well. For example, the courteous way to tell your guests that children will not be included at your wedding is to address the inner envelope with the adult names only. This is much more polite than stating, “No children allowed!”

MW: What is changing in the world of etiquette?

BA: The design process for invitations and papers has evolved more than the etiquette. Manners are still very important. No matter what anyone tries to tell you, trust me, Emily Post is not dead! We have designed invitations that are objects, not paper, which you would have never seen 15 years ago. But the content included on the object (or the paper invitation) is still pretty consistent. The biggest evolution is the focus on cohesiveness and that the printing methods that go beyond just your standard white card stock with black engraved lettering.

MW: What is the best evolution to come out of these changes?

BA: These changes have opened up a whole new world of fine art for weddings. It’s an exciting time for artists and designers…it’s an opportunity to get very creative while getting the guests really excited about your wedding.

MW: Can you look into your crystal ball and see the next trend to come out for the invitation suite?

BA: That’s a tough one. And honestly, I like that I can’t figure it out. It’s not predictable. But experimentation is everywhere….from different forms of media to different forms of art. It’s exciting to see what will come next!

MW: What other papers do you see adding to the wedding paper suite in the future?

BA: Paper goods really include so much more than invitations….they are a way to inform the bridal party and guests of what to expect. They can also extend better hospitality to your guests. For instance, signs around the reception are a clear and cohesive way to keep guests informed and comfortable.

I love brides to add a turn down service for hotel guests that includes a personal note. I think that is such a nice touch. I’ve also been encouraging my clients to include a handwritten thank you note for every guest at their place setting for sit-down dinners. What a beautiful way to thank your friends and family for celebrating with you.

MW: Is there anything else you would like to add?

BA: The best advice I can give couples is to make the investment and work with the right people who can help you transform your thoughtfulness and wedding design into hospitable, cohesive invitations and papers that convey information about your wedding, your feelings about it and your gratefulness for your guests. This is the only time in your life when everyone you love gathers in the same room with you, other than your funeral, and unfortunately, we aren’t around to witness that one! So remember the magnitude of the event when you are designing your invitations and other printed items for your amazingly unique and special wedding day!

Michelle Wright and Live View Studios: Woodland Elopement Featured on Cottage Hill

I was thrilled to work with one of my favorites, Live View Studios, on the Woodland Elopement featured in Cottage Hill Magazine. It was really special to me to give elopements some attention because I actually eloped with my husband, Michael. There is a common misconception that elopements can’t be beautiful and I was happy to have the chance to dispel that rumor.

Hiring the right visionary designer and a great photographer can make your elopement as special as your love story. Elopements can be just as beautiful as a large wedding – the important thing is that your wedding represents you and your fiance, the love that you share and the type of wedding that you want to have to celebrate that love.

The Woodland Elopement was inspired by the eloquent words of Ruth 1:16: “Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people.” The couple in this shoot had been married for about a year and their chemistry together was strong and perfect for this feature. Everything about the shoot was organic and natural and very focused on the marriage and sacrifice to each other, not just the wedding. It turned out completely gorgeous and I hope that it helps couples considering elopements to remember that their wedding can be just as elegant and enchanting as a big wedding.

Woodland Elopement 

We love the heart and soul behind this shoot from LiveView Studios. Elopements are always a favorite of ours, but we love their original and intentional inspiration. Read more below.

“Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people will be my people.”  These words from Ruth in the Bible were part of the inspiration for this intimate, woodland elopement shoot. We wanted to convey a sense of simplicity and tranquility – one where the attention was fully devoted to the couple and their relationship with each other. It was also to convey the beginning of an adventure together – one where both were fully committed to each other in their marriage relationship, in acts of self sacrifice. At a table for two, they sat along the waters edge celebrating what was going to be their new life together. Fresh figs, cheese, and meats created a portable yet elegant meal for the two of them. Ferns, moss, and woodland flowers filled the table with small and delicate details. They read vows to each other that they wrote specifically for the occasion, and he led her through winding paths to the waters edge, where in their first act of commitment to each other he gently washed her feet with fragrant herbs. The foraged bouquet included apple branches and other items selected from the woods around them. At the end of their day, they kissed in the rushing water, and the greatest adventure of their life began. 

Event Designer, Michelle Wright Events :: Hair & Makeup by Lula Hair & Makeup :: Florals by Serendipity Designs :: Furniture + Table Decor + Linens by Greenhouse Picker Sisters :: Photography by Live View Studios :: Film Processing + Scans by Photovision :: Jewelry by Kristin Hayes Jewelry :: Dress Designer by Nha Khanh (Amber Gown) :: Cake from Whole Foods :: Calligraphy + Stationary by Serendipity Designs :: Grooms Shoes from Johnston & Murphy :: Grooms Pants from Express :: Grooms Coat & Shirt from Gap JCrew

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