Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Julie and Brian

When your groom's family has a beautiful estate in Rutherford, why would you tie the knot anyplace else? The couple was inspired by Gosford Park, Downton Abbey and fabulous high society fêtes, and worked with the team at Lyndsey Hamilton Events to create a scene straight from their favorite British novels. Ivory and brown invitations with a woodland theme from Sugar Paper set the tone for this elegant late-summer affair.

Julie wore a statuesque Vera Wang gown and embellished Valentino sandals, and carried a classic bouquet of white roses with sage and dusty miller by Sharla Flock Designs. Julie's attendants wore spectacular printed gowns, while Brian and his groomsmen wore classic black tie.

After exchanging their vows and Cartier bands before double doors flanked by magnolia leaf garlands, the newlyweds and their guests headed to the lawn for Champagne by the pool. Dinner was served in the bosque, where antique books, taxidermied woodland creatures and white arrangements in silver vessels by Sharla Flock Designs decorated the long tables and lanterns hung from sycamore trees. Vintage Parisian postcards served as place cards, and the bride's French heritage inspired the Paula LeDuc menu, from oysters served with Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé to a fabulous croquembouche just like the one served at the bride's parents' wedding. After dinner, dancing and a quick change for the bride into an Alexander Wang cocktail dress, guests gathered around fire pits for a nightcap before heading home with English breakfast tea from LAMILL, treats from Bouchon Bakery and memories of one spectacular evening captured by the team at Docuvitae!

Tell me, what's your favorite detail of this fabulous fête? I'm partial to all those gorgeous magnolia leaves and beautiful white blooms!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Is there anything lovelier than a bit of velvet ribbon? 

Image by Theresa Choi.

Monday, August 18, 2014


It may be Monday, but I have no intention of letting that spoil my birthday celebrations–I'm thinking cake for breakfast, a gift or two to myself and a romantic dinner with my husband!

Tell me, what are your birthday traditions? Do you love donuts, indulge in BBQ or toast with Champagne, perhaps?

Image by Katie Stoops, lemon-coconut cake by A Pimento Catering.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Southern Exposure

Every time John and I buy a head of celery for a recipe, inevitably there are a few sad stalks unused and left to wilt in the crisper. But with this veggie-infused gimlet, there will be no sad celery in our fridge!

Southern Exposure

1 1/2 oz gin
3/4 oz fresh celery juice
1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 oz syrup
mint leaves

Combine lime juice, syrup and mint leaves in a mixing glass; muddle gently. Add gin, celery juice and ice; shake well. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a freshly slapped sprig of mint.

 Notes: The star of this cocktail is fresh celery juice; run a stalk through your juicer, pulverize it in your blender and then strain the solids with a cheesecloth, or pick up a few ounces at your local juice joint. John recommends playing off celery's herbal notes with a complimentary London Dry gin like Beefeater, or using a more neutral gin like our old favorite, Plymouth.

Cocktail by Daniel Hyatt for The Alembic, image by YumSugar.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sweet Love

This week I'm loving chilled bottles of rosé, long chats with old girlfriends and a whole pile of non-traditional celebrations for inspiration! Tell me, what are you loving this week? 

This colorful farm wedding photographed by Heidi Geldhauser of Our Labor of Love features some truly singular details–including a cake unlike anything you've ever seen!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Alanna and Craig



Though Alanna and Craig live in New York City, the bride always dreamed of tying the knot in Bucks County where she grew up. The romantic-meets-rustic event the couple wanted was perfectly suited to the Pennsylvania countryside, and was an ideal local "destination" for their Big Apple-based pals. The couple fell in love with Silver Buttons Farm early in the planning process, but initially picked a nearby bed & breakfast with an on-staff wedding coordinator to simplify the wedding planning process. Alanna couldn't shake the feeling that she'd chosen the wrong venue, so with the support of her parents and soon-to-be-husband, they moved the celebration to the farm they'd adored with the help of Lynda Barness at I DO Wedding Consulting.

Alanna wore a sequined Monique Lhuillier and metallic Jimmy Choo sandals; a modern top knot showed off her beautiful shoulders and a white fur shrug kept her warm as the summer evening grew cool. Her ivory garden rose bouquet by Murphy & Klien Floral Studio complimented the blush peony and garden rose bouquets the bridesmaids carried, and matched their chiffon Jenny Yoo gowns perfectly. Craig looked handsome in a classic Brooks Brothers tuxedo (he selected a white dinner jacket for the evening's festivities), and his groomsmen all donned black tie for the elegant farmstead fête.

The event's soft palette of ivory, blush, gold and gray was set by a classic stationery suite by Cheree Berry Paper with calligraphy by Therese Swift- Hahn Of Bella Scrittura Calligraphy And Design. It invited guests to witness the couple's vows at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in Lambertville, NJ. The joyful newlyweds and their nearest and dearest crossed the Delaware River and Pennsylvania state lines for the reception in New Hope, where there were cocktails in the barn followed by dinner beneath a classic white sail tent. Clouds of baby's breath along with white roses and blush-tipped peonies were tucked into silver julep cups and compotes beside white pillar candles, and burlap runners complimented the rural setting. After a sumptuous late-summer supper catered by Max Hansen and a slice of wedding cake from The Caketeria, everyone took a twirl on the dance floor before wishing the newlyweds well beneath a shower of sparklers.

Many thanks to the talented KT Merry for sharing these beautiful images with me; I absolutely adore this celebration! Tell me, what's your favorite detail from this romantic fête?