From elaborate to chic and classic, these ideas from real weddings are sure to raise your affair to new heights.
Editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings Darcy Miller worked closely with a designer in the creation of her hand-sewn gown: Slim through the bodice, it's laced, corset-style, down the back, then opens to reveal a profusion of ruffles that flounce at her heels when she walks. Bride's gown made to order by Vera Wang, 212-575-6400.
For Jessica and Cody's "Today Show" wedding, Martha envisioned the bride's bouquet with two kinds of orchids and white and blue pearlescent beads. The stems are bound with double-faced blue satin ribbon, which is tied in a bow and embellished with rhinestone buttons.
Ceci New York created these custom-designed, letterpress wedding invitations, which echo the bird and branch elements at Carter and Fred's formal wedding. A laser-cut sleeve reminiscent of a birdcage slips over each invitation, and the door can be opened to see the orange bird on the band underneath. On the outer envelope is a custom postage stamp with the same bird illustration.
Engraving and calligraphy embellish the wedding paper for Darcy and Andy's wedding. The invitation, program, and menu are all the same size, lending a sense of unity to the stationery, and the extravagant calligraphy makes them attractive mementos. The bride and groom had a monogram designed for the occasion; the matchbooks bear a smaller version. Thoughtful details grace each piece: The invitation beckons with lyrics from the couple's song, and the wedding program itself concludes with a dedication to the grandparents of the bride and groom.
Hundreds of roses in cream, pink, and coral are arranged in floral-foam cones to form topiaries and then set in silver vessels; handcrafted silk flowers are placed among the arrangements. The tables shine in pale-pink linens topped with golden runners. Table design by florist Matthew Robbins.
On a table just inside the entrance are small tokens that bride and groom Darcy and Andy have provided for each guest to take before proceeding to the ceremony: Linen handkerchiefs for "les femmes" and stephanotis-and-bay-leaf boutonnieres for "les hommes" are set out on boards covered in silk and edged in taupe ribbon.
The dinner tent for Carter and Fred's reception is set up on a sea-grass carpet and punctuated by cream textured linens and gray and cream Ikat runners. Napkins are tied with orange and white ribbon with printed menus tucked into each napkin. Guests begin their dinner with a special salad created from the bride's family recipe. They also dine on quail breast stuffed with grilled harvest apples, calvados sauce, and fresh chives, served with grits and sauteed haricots verts. The meal is perfect for a fall evening.
Navy taffeta window treatments with contrasting pink edging match this wedding's palette of blue and pink. Pale-blush pin-tucked satin linens cover each table. Dendrobium orchids, cafe au lait dahlias, pink French tulips, and blush Akito roses sit high above the tables' centers.
In keeping with their theme of vintage glamour, newlyweds Melissa and Sam depart from their reception in a rented 1950s Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud. Gold ribbon draped across the hood and tied to the hood ornament suspends a wreath of garden roses and their tiny buds in shades of pink, peach, and cream. The bride and groom were surprised to discover that the car's leather interior was aqua blue, a color prominent throughout their wedding.
Bride and groom Carter and Fred create a separate tent for dancing, decorated in more vibrant and bold colors. A large, white bar is set up in front of orange shelving filled with stemware and candles. Additional lounge areas, with Ikat pillows and black lacquered tables topped with candles in mercury-glass votives, border the dance floor.
Tables at Anne and David's reception are set with arrangements of hydrangeas and roses in varying combinations of green and white, pink, or lavender. Supper-club lamps add old-fashioned flair, as do the dance cards at each woman's place. Inside, men write their names by the songs they wish to claim for dances.
Welcome bags are given to Carter and Fred's guests, filled with a visitors' guide, a current issue of a local magazine, homemade rosemary-roasted cashews, cheddar-pecan biscuits in custom glassine pouches, and a booklet created by The Lettered Olive that details the events of the weekend, a transportation schedule, and the bride and groom's favorite sights to see around town.
Dinner at Darcy and Andy's New York wedding concludes with a fantasy buffet of candies, cookies, cakes, and other treats, set up in the Grill Room of the Four Seasons for guests to enjoy between dances. Meringues, dark-chocolate truffles, petits fours, M&Ms candies in special colors, and miniature brownies are just some of the treats. A towering croquembouche and a decorative topiary of macaroons provides counterpoints to the height of the majestic wedding cake.
Bride Carter brought in a beloved Tony Duquette book to help inspire the decor for this wedding. In the book is a photograph of a bird cage with a table for two nestled inside. With the bird theme already in play, Tara Guerard Soiree installed a large atrium with removable glass windows to house the wedding party's table -- a play on the photo in the book.
The meeting room in the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut used for the ceremony was decorated with a blue and white hand-painted aisle runner featuring graphic motifs inspired by Spode porcelain pieces that played such a big part in the wedding of Allison and Jacob.