Thursday, August 20, 2009

Suzanne & Michael's Big Fat Polish Wedding

As soon as I saw pictures from Suzanne Rozdeba and Michael Holcomb's June wedding in Poland, I knew I had to share them here. Suzanne and Michael share a passion for adventurous traveling that I think many destination-seeking brides and grooms can relate to—they even met on a backpacking trip to Ecuador six years ago (how romantic is that?)

But their decision to have their wedding in Poland was also a family one. Suzanne's parents were born (and married) in Poland; raised in New Jersey, Suzanne has Polish citizenship. "We just loved the way they celebrate there," says Suzanne. "We wanted a party that would go all night, until six in the morning. Everywhere we looked in New York said our wedding had to be finished way earlier than that." So, the couple started scouting locations in Poland. Their chosen venue was Korzkiew Castle, just outside Krakow. It's a small medieval castle that has been renovated for events. Suzanne and Michael fell in love with the place at first sight. "Since the decor was very ornate already, we didn't have to dress it up much," Suzanne explains. And because the castle has five bedrooms, the bride, groom and both sets of parents were able to stay on site.

Suzanne's romantic dress is from Priscilla of Boston's Platinum collection. The bridesmaids' cobalt blue satin dresses were also from Priscilla. The flowers were a mix of calla lilies and red and white roses. "Red and white are the Polish colors, so we tried to incorporate them," says Suzanne.

The ceremony took place at the beautiful Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Krakow. The priest who presided was Suzanne's grandparents' priest who had traveled from New Jersey to Poland. He was able to do the mass in Polish and English, a treat for both sides of the family. After the ceremony, everyone traveled to the castle, where the cocktail hour was held in the courtyard.

One of the highlights of the evening was Suzanne's cousin—a professional dancer in Krakow—surprised her by performing in traditional costumes with some of his troupe. Afterwards, dinner was served in the dining room with long tables arranged in a "u" shape. There were six courses throughout the night, including a red beet soup, beef croquettes and a grill with kielbasa and Polish meats. "You need that much food to keep going all night," Suzanne says. "Even my grandfather stayed up partying until 6 am." In keeping with local culture, the couple had one bottle of vodka on the table for each couple, complete with shot glasses. For dessert there was vanilla and strawberry wedding cake (the groom's cake, a very chocolatey one, was served the night before at the rehearsal party).

The best part about Suzanne and Michael's wedding was that the festivities lasted five days. There was a rehearsal dinner party, a day after wedding party, known as a "poprawiny," hosted by the groom's father on a docked boat and many organized sightseeing trips. The couple wanted to introduce their 70 guests from the States to Poland, so they did everything from hiking and visiting a Unesco heritage site and salt mine to taking a tour of Auschwitz, which was "emotional but very moving for the guests" says Suzanne.

In keeping with their wanderlust, Suzanne and Michael plan to spend their honeymoon backpacking in Southeast Asia this January. They even registered for their honeymoon using Smart Honeymoon.
Suzanne and Michael, thank you for sharing your gorgeous wedding with us. Wishing you a lifetime of happiness and frequent flier miles.
Photos: Foto-Mikulska

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sneak Peak: Suzanne & Michael

Growing up, I often heard stories of multi-day long weddings from my part-Polish grandmother. According to her, Polish weddings went on forever. Well, here's an adventure-seeking bride and groom who threw a five (!!!) day event in Poland. I'll be back later with more photos from their gorgeous celebration.

Photo: Foto-Mikulska

Monday, August 10, 2009

Three Low-Key Wedding Dresses

There's nothing I like better than a pretty, unfussy white dress. Trains, bustles and heavy beading are fine and dandy, but when it comes to the special day, you actually have to move in this thing. Unless you plan to change right after the ceremony, you want to be able to walk naturally and ideally, dance. Here are three designer dresses from the recent resort collections that get my vote.

Okay, it's a tad sheer but this ethereal Vera Wang is as pretty as it gets. I love the just-below-the-knee length and how it's very girly with a touch of peplum at the waist, but still very restrained. This dress would look at home anywhere, and it'd be beautiful with a pair of gold or fun pop-color flats.

Next, this Grecian-style one from Monique Lhuillier is a little more formal, but still quite simple. The gold detail around the neck makes quite a statement, and is balanced out by the otherwise beautifully plain draping. I'm envisioning this one for a wedding somewhere in the Greek islands—Mykonos, Patmos, Hydra—and worn with some amazing gold or neutral strappy sandals.

The simplest of the three, this Chloe dress would work for a casual daytime affair (perhaps the destination is your parents' backyard) or an exotic, off-the-beaten trail camp-style or beach wedding in Asia. All it needs is some fabulous necklaces and perhaps a flower wreath and it's done. It would even look right barefoot.

Which one would you wear?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rustic Boutonnieres

I adore these understated boutonnieres made of stalks of wheat and wrapped in deer leather. They are just the thing for a woodsy or homespun farm wedding.

Destination Inspirations: Vermont, Lake Tahoe, the Great Plains.

(Via: Afton via East Side Bride)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Featured Invitations: Cheree Berry

The talented St. Louis-based invite designer, Cheree Berry (check out her own amazing recent wedding on Martha Stewart Weddings) shares some of her favorite destination-themed designs.

Abigail + Douglas:
This bride and groom got married in charming, lakefront Charlevoix, Michigan. Their invite even featured its own cabana, and I love how they splurged on all the different colors of ink!

Taryn + Christopher:
It was Vegas, baby for this couple, whose clever, glitzy invite included a casino chip-shape rehearsal drinks invite.

Alissa + Laurence:
My favorite here. A Mexico wedding inspired this fun and colorful invite suite. The mix of modern and traditional fonts is terrific, don't you think?

Thank you, Cheree, for sharing these wonderfully creative designs with us.

Photos: Courtesy of Cheree Berry

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Promotion: 10% Off Jenny Yoo Bridesmaid Dresses

Heads-up, dolls: For the whole month of August, the bridal line Jenny Yoo Collection (beloved for their nice prices and unfussy, modern styles) is offering its "Something Blue" promotion, 10% off bridesmaid dresses in any shade of blue.

Some of the shades offered include Tiffany Blue, Teal, Robin's Egg, Navy and, my personal favorite, French Blue. I like the idea of mixing them all up on a large-ish bridal party, and blue is one of those versatile colors that works equally well at outdoor events as it does for dressier, indoor functions.

Destination Inspirations: Italian Villa. Newport, Rhode Island.

An Introduction

This blog is for all of you who are obsessed with weddings, especially destination weddings. Whether you're planning your own, attending someone else's or dreaming about the big day before you've even found the guy (or girl), this blog's for you.