From our feature on Style Me Pretty
From the Bride... As the leader of the business side of Intrigue Design and Decor, I have been spoiled by witnessing countless weddings with decadent flowers and romantic decor. When it came time to plan my own wedding, I felt paralyzed. How would I compete with all of the breathtaking weddings that I have seen brought to life over the years?
After weeks of touring venues in my hometown of Washington, DC, I received crushing news. The temple that I had dreamt of getting married in since the time I was a little girl was preparing for renovations and would be closed the entire month of my wedding. Being sealed in the temple on my wedding day was vital, which meant I needed to find a new venue near the closest temple to us, bringing us to Manhattan. Finding just the right venue in New York City seemed like a daunting task; however, it ended up being easier than I could have ever hoped.
I drove to the city accompanied by my mom and best friend with a 2-day schedule packed with tours and meetings. First on our list was the J.W. Marriott Essex House. Upon arrival, we immediately felt welcomed as the doorman opened our car door and signaled his hand towards the entrance. We stepped through revolving doors and into a well-appointed lobby, complete with the most beautiful floral displays. Beyond the florals stood a tall, smiling gentleman that seemed all too familiar.He walked towards us, shook my hand and introduced himself as “Jason.” The next hour felt like a dream as Jason walked us through the Petite Salon, the Grande Ballroom and up elevators adorned with the most beautiful metal work. It was everything I had been looking for and Jason's helpful demeanor and expertise was just what I needed to successfully pull off a destination wedding in this massive city.
The dress was the easy part. I called my friend and designer Sohil, creator of Enaura Gowns, and he crafted a custom dress with impeccable detail for me on my wedding day. The entire bodice was adorned with hand beading that traveled down the tulle skirt and across the sheer sleeves with a series of fluttering fabric flowers. The cathedral veil, equally as grand, emulated the detail of the gown with a series florets and subtle sparkle.
With so much experience in the wedding industry, you would imagine that finding a photographer should be a no brainer. However, the last thing I wanted to do was ask one of my photographer friends to work my wedding rather than be a guest. So, I began doing what most millennial brides tend to do and scoured Instagram, eventually falling for the feed of @KenzieVictory. Her images were soft and natural and instantly appealing. With this crucial piece in place, the wedding planning was almost complete.
Of course, every great wedding needs a great planner/stylist. So, we brought Claire Duran Events up to make sure all the details were in place, that the images were styled and that each of the day’s details unfolded precisely according to plan.
The Wedding Day
When the big day arrived, I felt giddy with excitement. After so much planning and coordination, all that was left to do was enjoy the day. I remember waking up feeling full of anticipation. Dressed in a silk robe, I gathered with my bridesmaids and the pampering ensued. It was a splendid morning with freshly squeezed orange juice, New York bagels and delicious fruit. Then the moment came to get dressed and meet my groom for our “first look.”
I stepped away feeling excited. Today was the day. Today I was marrying the love of my life. When I went to unveil my dress, I immediately knew something was wrong.
It was at that moment that the advice my sister-in-law gave me kicked into place. Two weeks prior to the wedding, Melanie quietly sat me down and counseled, "Ten things will go wrong on your wedding day. If you prepare for that, you won't be anxious. When the first thing happens, start counting."
The room froze. Everyone looked at me in disbelief. My custom Enaura Bridal gown went from being a dream come true to completely unusable. The zipper had become unhinged to the dress, creating a massive hole in the back. Panic filled the room, yet I remained calm. I counted one.
It felt like a scene from a hospital, people were on the phone, running around and panicking trying to figure out the next move. Amidst all the commotion, I remained calm and steady. My family and friends looked at me in utter disbelief. Meeting my soon-to-be husband in time for our “first look” was out of the question, and with my temple sealing quickly approaching I had to think fast.
Having a wedding in New York City has its advantages. After a few phone calls, I was able to reach my friend Sohil, the designer/owner of Enaura Bridal. I explained to him my situation and he immediately told me to meet him at his studio in the garment district. Along with both my photographer and videographer, we hopped into a cab and made our way towards the studio. Upon arrival, Sohil worked tirelessly to have my dress completed in time. With no time to waste, I headed back to the Essex house just in time to respond to a very confused groom. While I had been dealing with the dress, he had been patiently waiting in Central Park for my arrival. After some much-needed explaining, we took a moment to laugh and express how much we loved each other.
The time is now 12:00. With our temple sealing at 1pm, I had to quickly make my way to the Manhattan, New York Latter-Day Saint Temple. Together with our families and in one of the holiest places on earth, we were married for time and all eternity. We promised to always stand by each others sides in what was one of the most beautiful ceremonies imaginable. After the ceremony ended, my gown was waiting for me in the bridal suite. It was then that I was able to share a beautiful, uninterrupted moment with my mother as I finally put on my wedding gown.
As the day unfolded, each detail flowed beautifully into the next with surprises at every corner. While taking our formal pictures at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, my groom surprised me with a small group of local NYC talent performing the most beautiful rendition of John Legend’s All of Me My heart was overwhelmed by his thoughtfulness and kindness.
As we made our way to the ballroom, my heart was racing. I couldn't wait to view the masterpiece that Intrigue Design and Decor had designed. As I walked in, I was speechless. Blooms adorned every table and place setting. Lush, grand centerpieces welcomed me as I glided through the ballroom. It was a room meant for a princess. The doors were then opened to the ceremony space were I was greeted with the most stunning flower wall. Roses and moss spiraled into the most whimsical design you could possibly imagine.
What a day to remember, family and friends traveled from near and far to celebrate our love and marriage. The night, thanks to Jason, went without a hitch. From the dancing to the toasts, every moment was perfect. Entertainment by On The Move was spectacular. We couldn't have asked for a better fusion between DJ and band. Together with On The Move, my two brothers and father sang our first song. It was a moment I'll never forget. To be dancing with my groom, while the other three most important men in my life sang to us, was enough to bring me to tears.
As the night drew to a close, the master of ceremonies announced that there was one surprise left. I was completely shocked as I looked towards my groom, just standing there with a grin. As I was lead out the ballroom with my family following close behind, we made our way to the entrance of the hotel. Waiting out front was a vintage yellow cab for Morgan and I. I could barely contain my excitement. After so many surprises all day long, he seemed somehow to top it all off with the greatest of them all. The people cheered, our families may have cried, but as we drove away into a new chapter in our lives, I knew one thing - September 6, 2016, was the best day of my life.