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There’s nothing more classy than a black tie wedding, and Kathryn and Michael’s destination wedding in Lake Como is the perfect example. With such an incredible setting (Villa Balbianello in Lake Como, Italy), the couple elected to simplify the rest of their wedding details to keep the focus on their surroundings. An elegant black and white color palette was the perfect place to start, and with white and green florals, touches of gold in their invitations, and minimal decor, the sweeping views were indeed focused on. Climbing ivy was found throughout their venues, and one look at that ceremony space is certainly not enough to do justice to its majesty: with ancient pillars covered in greenery and the view of blue waters and wooded lakeside slopes beyond the couple, we simply can’t imagine a more breathtaking location to exchange vows at.

Read on for more from the photographer, Melanie Gabrielle:
“Kathlyn and Michael’s stunning destination wedding took place at the magnificent Villa Balbianello in Lake Como, Italy. With simplicity in their floral and reception design space, Kathlyn allowed the incredible natural beauty of the villa to shine. Kathlyn and Michael wanted their wedding to be timeless and classic with a simple color palette, classic tuxedos, touches of gold in their wedding invitation, a restored wooden boat that brought the couple to their wedding venue, and Kathlyn’s breathtaking gown that perfectly mirrored the intricate vines that cover the venue’s grand arches. They also added some sweet Italian touches to their wedding favors in the form of traditional Italian wedding puff pastries and small bottles of local limoncello. For their welcome party, Kathlyn and Michael invited their guests to join them for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the Grand Hotel Tremezzo’s floating dock at sunset. The afternoon after their wedding, we took the ferry to Bellagio, where they enjoyed shopping, authentic Italian gelato, and shared a coffee on the water. It was the perfect ending to an amazing weekend in Lake Como!”

Photography: Melanie Gabrielle |


Katie and Ben’s sweet romance started at just 15 years old when they met at a swim practice. They were married this summer in an outdoor wedding on a ranch, which they fell in love with for “the flawless intersection between natural beauty, remote feel, and comfortable elegance,” as the bride says.

Katie chose a muted color palette for the ceremony and bridal party florals, with hints of blush and a golden caramel scheme. At the reception, a deeper color palette was used, with more dusky tones of rust and burgundy worked throughout — perfect for dinner under the stars. An all-night dance party followed, taking place in a nearby wine cave!

Studio Mondine went with a very natural, wildflower-esque style for all of the floral design, using natural grasses, lace-cap hydrangeas, and foraged eucalyptus throughout. One of the bride’s favorite pieces was a champagne glass escort card display: a full table of pre-poured champagne glasses with escort cards attached, a massive arrangement of florals, and tall taper candles in silver candlestick holders that greeted guests as they entered the meadow for dinner.

Read on for more from the wedding planner, Once Wed Premium Vendor Ryder Sloan Events:
“Katie and Ben were the first of their friends to get married, so it was wonderful to witness guests attending the wedding with no preconceived notions of what a wedding should be or should look like. It was clear to see that each space they moved throughout felt magical to them and truly unique to Katie and Ben.

From the bride:
“One of our biggest snafus when planning the wedding was when Ben and I foolishly chose a wedding date both two weeks after US swimming Olympic trials (which many of our guests were competing in) and which also directly coincided with the opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics (of course, all of our guests who were competing at trials were dying to go to Rio). It felt very strange to wish our friends would be busy on our wedding day…”

As a planner, this provided a few logistical issues as well, but the catering team and other vendors handled the last minute guest count flawlessly. And it was wonderful to see all of their young (and very fit!) guests who had grown up and competed together on swim teams both in high school and at a college level pull together and champion instead their two best friends getting married.”

Photographer: Julie Kay Kelly | Wedding Planner: Ryder Sloan Events | Florist: Studio Mondine | Venue and Catering: Calistoga Ranch | Hair and Make-Up: Marisa Perel | Film Lab : Provision Printing | Lounge Rentals: Rion Designs | Strings: Bellarosa | Photo Booth: Giggle & Riot DJs: Dart CollectiveLinens: La TavolaCake: Moustache BakeryDress Designer: Anna Maier Couture | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Jumpsuit Designer: Jill Stuart | Groom’s Custom Tux : Spoon Tailor | Groomsmen Tux : The Black Tux | Rings from: Brilliant Earth

We’ve loved seeing a shift in wedding trends for 2016 and 2017, moving away from the overtly feminine (think, blush and gold) and more towards the lively, unique, and well-designed. This summer wedding inspiration shoot features a tropical Mexican style and a sun-kissed color palette of peach, muted coral, terracotta, caramel and sand.

Every aspect of this wedding inspiration photoshoot is very tactile — from the richly textured lace of the Claire Pettibone bridal gown to the fringed Mexican blanket on the table — and all of this texture brings about a unique, lively feel to the wedding.

Floral designer Bows & Arrows makes a point of utilizing as much local product as possible — in this case, foraged florals along with hand-painted terracotta tableware, a locally made blanket for use as a table linen, and the venue’s wood table and chairs. This creates a distinctly authentic feel to the overall design — even if you’re not planning a tropical destination wedding, we encourage you to research what items might be available locally to you! Perhaps there is an amazing potter nearby to your venue, where you could purchase centerpiece vessels from, or maybe your neighborhood is known for a specific type of tree whose branches could be used to decorate your ceremony space.

Read on for more from the photographer, Sarah Kate:
“This colorful shoot in Mexico City was a collaboration between my photographer fiancé, Joshua Aull, and I plus Bows and Arrows floral. We sourced most items from the local markets and from our hosts’ traditional Mexican home! We wanted to convey a shoot of a different type. Colorful and lively! We shot in the forest outside the city and at the most picturesque courtyard you can imagine!”

Floral & Design: Bows & Arrows | Photography : Sarah Kate Photo + Joshua Aull | Calligraphy and Invites: Script Merchant | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone  for The Dress Theory | Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic

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