Apologies that today's real wedding post comes a little later in the afternoon than usual.
Normally, it takes me about two to three hours to put together a real wedding blog post. But there was something about Andre & Margaret's home wedding, and their gorgeous photographs, that had me lost in a world of beautiful blooms, glamorous style, and snowfall in October, for hours.
If you saw this couple's dreamy wedding film this morning, by Amor in Motion, you'll know why this bash is a special one. If the film captured the feel of the day, these incredible pictures by Svetlana Photography, capture all the elegant styling and thoughtful touches (and lots of romantic moments too!).
It's been a tough job to whittle them down, but I've managed to choose a few (well, more than a few!) favourites.
I could gush about this wedding all day (but then the post really would be late!), so I'll keep it to a few highlights.
First up, I just love that they got married at Margaret's family home. While the ceremony was planned for outside, last minute snowfall meant things got moved inside to the sitting room. While this is enough to throw any bride or groom into a tailspin, this pair didn't sweat the cold weather at all.
Secondly, let's just take a moment to swoon over the florals, from Margaret's statement crown, to the luxe centrepieces, to the fabulous bouquets, and elegant buttonholes, all aired with vintage gold candlesticks and antique vases, the overall look of the celebration was romantic and refined.
And finally, the bride and groom, and their gorgeous style. While I adore the wedding gown, admire the suits, and love the bridesmaid dresses, it's got to be Margaret & Andre's smiling faces and palpable excitement I love the most. (FYI make sure you read their love story!)
What a sweet pair!
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Love Story
My husband and I met many years before we ever began liking each. We met at a youth camp, I was 13 he was 16. Our story could be VERY long (for the full version you can go to my blog), but here is my attempt at the “short” version.
After we met at camp we became great friends, and it remained so for about seven years. Then something changed.
When I was 20 years old Andre took me on a walk on the beach and expressed how he now had feelings for me. I was shocked but did not feel the same way, at all!
After that first rejection Andre’s feelings towards me stayed steady for three and a half years. Persistent is an understatement!
We had little contact, but saw each other once in a while. His sisters were some of my closest friends so it was inevitable.
In November of 2013 everything changed! Within a moment, it’s as though I had scales fall off my eyes, I saw what an amazing man he truly was!
We began to date shortly after and got engaged six months later.
Our engagement is one of the few times I have truly been surprised in my life!
It was a beautiful July summer day and my friends and I had gone out to dinner. When we returned a beautiful surprise awaited me.
At the time Andre was living abroad in Israel. I had not heard from him for a whole day for us that was very unusual. Israel was in the middle of a war so I was a little worried.
As we returned home from dinner candles and rose peddles lining the walkway welcomed me. As I walked up to the door I could only hope that I would see Andre on the other side!
I opened the door to a beautiful candlelit room and of course Andre with a huge smile on his face!
Crying I ran towards him and embraced him. After a 20-hour flight he bent down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course you know what my answer was! YES!
I had been planning my wedding quite a bit before I was engaged! I blame Pinterest for that. I wanted a romantic and elegant theme.
For the color pallette I wanted the only bright color to come from the flowers.
I dressed my bridesmaids in blush-toned dresses and put different shades of red and blush pink into the bouquets.
My florist did an amazing job translating my vision into reality!
One of my favorite moments was the morning of our wedding day. I woke up to the first snow of the year!
It was October 4th and completely unexpected!
We were going to have our ceremony outside by my neighbors beautiful pond and weeping willows. Last minute I decided not to let our guests freeze!
So morning of, we moved the wedding inside my parents large living room. It worked out perfectly, even better than I could have imagined!
When I first saw Adrianna Papell's beaded gowns I knew they where exactly what I wanted my bridal party to wear.
I didn’t want them all in the same dress, but I wanted them to mesh well together. Adrianna’s line made that very easy!
They are a bit pricey, but to save money we found these for discounted prices at Nordstrom rack and on eBay. I promise you your bridesmaids will wear them again, and thank you for making them look stunning!
The dress I wore was the first one I tried on! I couldn’t believe it! I tried on ten more different style dresses but returned to the first one.
I always thought I would have a big white dress for my wedding, but when I tried on that style it swallowed me up and I looked like a cupcake! I really recommend trying on lots of different styles.
The open back on the dress was my only non-negotiable. When I got it tailored I even had her make the back opening a bit bigger. She did a great job!
For the men, my husband and I agreed we wanted them in navy, not black. My dress was ivory so we felt navy paired better with it.
I loved my husband’s tux! It fit perfectly and had a beautiful silk lapel.
I had an array of flowers. The details and the names of the flowers I do not know exactly, but my florist knew exactly what I needed when I showed her what I wanted.
I highly recommend finding photos and example of bouquets you like.
For the centerpieces, she used beautiful antique silver vases. I also had gold candelabras on every table.
Those took some searching! For months every time we passed a thrift store or something of the sort I would go in searching for candelabras.
Over a few months I found 90 beautiful ones and didn’t have so spend a fortune!
Since I was 13 years old I dreamed of getting married at my parent’s house, so there was no question on our venue!
It was perfect and very personal. This venue choice made our wedding very relaxed and comfortable.
It was also very touching because we were able to get married exactly where Andre purposed to me.
What I loved about our ceremony was that my father-in-law blew a shofar before I walked down the aisle. It made it very epic and unique!
I chose Svetlana Photography because she captures weddings in a very romantic and real way.
Svetlana knew exactly what we wanted and executed it perfectly and professionally!
We chose Amor in Motion because we saw they can truly capture the atmosphere of an event.
They don’t just get the “important” moments they make them come alive!
Every time we re-watch our video we feel we are reliving our wedding day! They were also very easy to work with and captured our vision quickly.
The area we spent the most money was the tent. Even though we had a free venue we did have to pay a large chunk for a place to seat everyone.
It worked out beautifully so I am happy we did.
We had a lot of big savings when it came to catering, florist, and plates. We had family and close friends who work in those areas so they really helped us out.
Even with those savings I think our wedding of 270 people cost maximum $20,000.
The Decor & Details
From the start I knew I wanted candles and flowers to be the main décor. For table numbers I had some chalkboard picture frames that I used and matched my theme very well.
For our dance floor we laid down a beautiful antique rug my parents owned.
I feel like my whole wedding was a DIY project! Hard work but so fun, and rewarding!
My family and husband’s family really rallied around us and supported us immensely! Couldn’t have done it without them.
We had a buffet style meal. Our caterer made our favorite Russian dish (it contains rice with meat and it’s delicious!) and some wonderful salads to accompany it.
For desserts we had a small cake made just for us, and for the guests there was an array of different options.
Some of my favorites were the popcorn buffet and caramel apple station!
Advice for Other Couples
I would recommend finding those few things you will splurge on and try saving on the rest.
For me I knew I would splurge on flowers, the tent, and gold flatware! Those were non-negotiable, the rest we saved on.
Isn't it a beautiful wedding? I just love Margaret's dress, the appliqué detail is just exquisite. Did you read their love story, I do love a tale of persistence!
Thanks so much to Svetlana Photography, and of course, Margaret & Andre for sharing their joyful home wedding with us.
Be inspired by more amazing real weddings.