Monday, November 10, 2008

LouWanda and Michael

When LouWanda and Michael came to meet with us during for their initial consultation last fall, they had a clear vision for their wedding, it was to feel very fall, have a distinct lounge atmosphere and exclude a sexy vibe.

While at that time it was all just a vision, Lindsay and I could not wait to get started. We were literally giddy from excitement when we said goodnight to them! This is what unique weddings are all about! From that night on, LouWanda, Mike, and I began to build up their dream wedding. Details began to materialize, we made clear choices on vendors who would deliver exactly what Lou and Mike envisioned and in the process also became great friends!

Speaking of fantastic vendors, the photography was taken by Megan LaBarbera of Creative Image Collections who so graciously provideded the vast majority of the photos used in this post. She couldn't have done a better job capturing Lou and Mike's wedding!

Lou and her girls started the day beautifying at the Springhill Suites. LouWanda's stylist came to the hotel to do all of the ladies hair and make-up. When I stopped in, they were having a blast, laughing, chatting and relaxing to mimosa's and snacks. How fun!

Following my check-in at the hotel, I made my way to Eolia, The Mansion at Harkness, which is one of the most gorgeous spaces in Connecticut. The historic home, overlooking Long Island Sound, with it's stunning, expansive lawn and views, the beautiful architecture both inside and out, and the incredible gardens make for a truly magical wedding.

With a guest list of 65 people, we were able to decorate the "Music Room" for dinner where all guests were seated in one space.

We started with a luxe chocolate brown linen on the tables, used gold charger plates to add visual interest, and tied in their color scheme, by adding lamour copper colored chair sashes and matching napkins. We went with a modern twist to the sashes on the chairs and it provided the perfect amount of umph! to the ballroom. Linens provided by BBJ Linens And how about that yummy light!

We provided all of the wedding stationary, including the table numbers and escort hanging tags seen in these pictures.

Tony at Datura, A Modern Garden nailed it with the floral design. A mix of high and low centerpieces filled the room, brimming with orchids, hanging amaranthus, manzanita branch and two toned orange and burgandy lillies.

The entrance arrangement was so perfect. All of the hanging escort cards were strung at different heights with the same copper and cranberry accent colors, shaped to mimic the hanging votive holders on the tall centerpieces in the ajoining dining room.

LouWanda carried these gorgeous flowers. This bouquet could not have been more perfect for her. The two toned callas were stunning, the cranberry amaranthus was so lush, the delicate orchids hanging from golden strands and polished off with feathers for that sexy flair. The most sentimental component of LouWanda's bouquet are the incorporation of both her mother and father's wedding bands, which you can see on the shelf, just below the base of the feathers. The rings hung loosely in front of LouWanda's hand as she processed down the aisle.

The ceremony itself took place at the Amphitheather at Harkness at dusk. The sun was setting over the marsh beyond the ceremony site. Father Henry Smolinski performed a moving and personalized ceremony, everyone was very touched and LouWanda and Mike were so so happy. Live music was provided by Judy and Mark, a Guitar and Mandolin duo, who played the most incredible arrangements with Spanish flair.

Following the ceremony, guests were delighted to a fabulous cocktail spread by Felix and his wonderful staff at Grand Gourmet A blessing was given by Father Henry and toasts by Corey, LouWanda's maid of honor, and Doug, Mike's Best Man.

Then, dinner was served in the station fashion, there was something for everyone to consider. It was all delicious.

We snuck Lou and Mike away for some fun portraits with Meg. I have always wanted to get pictures of clients taken in this cool little nook of Eolia. It is really considered the "coat closet" but I can't help but feel like it was really meant to be such a cool little photo op just waiting to happen!

We then moved them into the tent space on the patio behind the mansion. This space had been off-limits to guests until after dinner and became the swanky lounge Lou and Mike had really wanted!

White leather love seats, black shag carpet, a black and white checkered dance floor and light up tables created the look. A fun arrangement of crystals and ostrict feathers, soft candlelight and fanstastic uplighting in deep burgandy and blues really brought the space together. Guests were in awe. Rentals were by American Furniture Rental and Taylor Rental.

And of course, I couldn't pass up sharing this picture Megan took during their personal photo session of LouWanda's gorgeous Jimmy Choos! This girl had always wanted to go couture on her wedding shoes, in fact she mentioned it in our very first meeting, and she did not disappoint. le sigh.

This three tiered confection provided by Victoria of Toria Dolce was absolutely heavenly. The branched design matched the manzanita branches in the tall centerpieces and ceremony arrangements.

There was chocolate cake with a spiced filling, and white cake with a maple filling and apricot filling, both of which were delicious, (yes, I tried both, heh) but truthfully my heart lies with the chocolate.

Following the cake cutting, dancing commenced under the tent. We did the formal introductions of the bridal party and Lou and Mike right through these doors and into the tent where guests were gathered. All guests were immediately invited to join the newlyweds on the dance floor and they rocked the night away with quite the spicy musical selections.
The DJ and lighting were done by Rob at Correlation Productions. He did a great job creating the atmosphere that Lou and Mike were looking for and kept the dance party going!

LouWanda and Mike, working with you on your stunning wedding was such an incredible pleasure. You are two of the most warm, sincere, genuine and passionate individuals we have worked with.

You both are a perfect match and Lindsay and I wish you years filled with love, happiness and all the "spice of life" that a marriage following a wedding such as yours deserves.




  1. Beautiful wedding!

    Some of the pictures aren't showing up on my screen - not sure if it's just a problem on my end or something else....the photos are just red boxes.

  2. ah boo. I can see them all. I have to figure out which ones. thanks amanda.

  3. Beautiful Talia! You really made everything so warm and inviting! It was fun to FINALLY work with you! Yeah!

  4. Beautiful wedding. I felt like I was there. Great pictures.