Featured: Style Me Pretty | Photography: Almond Leaf Studios | Cinematography: Almond Leaf Studios | Event Design: Love & Honey | Floral Design: Lily Greenthumb’s Wedding & Event Design | Wedding Dress: Berta | Cake: Wow Factor Cakes | Invitations: Bride | Bride’s Shoes: Guiseppe Zanotti | Rings: Diamonds Direct | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Beauty Asylum | DJ: Split Second Sound | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux | Officiant: Bride’s Dad | Ceremony Music: Andrea Mumm | Venue: Duke Mansion | Bridal Boutique: Anjolique Bridal | Bride’s Earrings: Ambrosia Bridal | Bride’s Necklace: Jane Basch | Bride’s Robe: BHLDN | Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Nadri | Bridesmaids’ Robes: Plum Pretty Sugar | Flower Girl’s Dresses: J.Crew | Flower Girl’s Flower Crowns: Stony Run Studio | Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan | Groom’s Watch: Skagen | Invitation Letterpress: Crayton Heritage Letterpress | Mother of the Bride’s Dress: Adrianna Papell | Mother of the Groom’s Dress: White House | Black Market | Photo Booth: InFocus Photobooths | Pocket Squares: Target With Monograms By EmbroidMe | Ribbon: Flower Seed Paper
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From the Bride…
Inspiration. For our wedding my biggest inspiration was timeless elegant glamour. I wanted things to be soft, romantic, clean, classic, grand and effortlessly gorgeous. When choosing different stylistic elements for the wedding I wanted to make sure everything I chose was timeless, chic, beautiful and not a fad or a trend. I love the way that you can still look at Grace Kelly’s wedding dress 60 years later and fall in love with it over and over. Stylistically I love things that are clean, elegant and timeless like Jackie Kennedy and Coco Chanel. There is something I have always loved about a bride wearing a classic white lace gown and a groom wearing a classic black tuxedo on their wedding day. It is timeless and never goes out of style.
I am very decisive when it comes to things I like or do not like. I only tried on two dresses. I only visited one venue. I do my research and go with my gut.
Color Palette. My color palette was clean and classic. I wanted everything to be neutrals. I chose black, white, charcoal, ivory, champagne and gold as my colors. All my stationery was in shades of grey, pearl ivory Crane Lettra, charcoal letterpress, gold foil and gold wax seals. I specifically told my florist I wanted white flowers and white flowers only – but to include lots of greenery too. The bridesmaids wore breezy, elegant champagne dresses with sparkly earrings and belts for that little bit of extra glam.
Dress. I wanted my dress to be dramatic, romantic and memorable, but not gaudy or over the top. I fell in love with the Berta dress when I saw it online. I knew it was the one. The details on it were exquisite. I loved the deep V neck with pearl beading almost down to my belly button, the dramatic lace train, the bare back, the pearl beading detail on the end of the sleeves, and the sentimental value of the fact that it was hand made in Israel.
I grew up in Africa. I went to school at an American boarding school in Kenya and every month I’d save up my allowance to buy a copy of British Vogue magazine and just pour over the pages – It was my little escape – A little bit of glamour to dream about while living in rural Kenya. I always knew when I got married I wanted to have an epic dress.
Venue. I had always wanted to get married in the south of France or a village in Italy but the minute I visited the Duke Mansion I instantly fell in love with it’s old world southern charm and glamorous feel. It was grand but it was also so warm, intimate, romantic and cozy. I loved the stately large white walls of this gorgeous historic site, the wrought iron fences and light fixtures, the stone fountains and terraces and the lush rose gardens. I was so excited to host both of our families in this classic Southern Charmed mansion in the heart of the city that we fell in love in – a city that is an integral part of our love story.
Personal Touches. Even though I wanted a big glamorous wedding, at the same time I wanted to make it very dear and personal. I wanted to make sure everybody had a blast and felt like they were there to celebrate our love. I worked hard over the course of 18 months to add a lot of personal touches to the wedding. I made and designed all the stationary myself; almost entirely by hand. (with the exception of the letterpress and gold foil stamping, done by the amazing people over at Crayton Heritage Letterpress) We wanted to make sure each guest felt contacted personally by us. I hand sketched our welcome sign, we hand-stamped coffee and tea favor bags. My mom and dad hand painted the table numbers and bride and groom chair signs. The antique silver candle sticks were used at my parent’s wedding, and the champagne glasses we used to toast the cake cutting were the same ones my parents used at their cake cutting 30 years earlier. We even had our whole family (fresh off the plane from California) hand paint gold accents on olive branches (a symbol of peace and love) for everyone’s plates the day before the wedding. It was such a fun group effort and made everyone feel included in some part of the wedding.
Okay, let’s rewind…
I lived so much of my life focused on the things that I or the world perceived to be missing (money, jobs, relationships, etc.) that I’ve been programmed to make myself wrong before I ever give myself the grace to be right. From the days I was just a child striving to do everything right all the way to the days I started navigating entrepreneurship and parenthood, I’ve looked for the lack… for those things that are missing.
I’ve constantly told myself that, even when I’m incredibly proud of myself, that there’s some undercurrent of “I should have done that earlier” or “I missed the mark on that.” I spent years having an incredibly difficult time celebrating myself, and I spent even more years than that refusing to celebrate myself, too.
It took a big toll on me — and if you’re like me or a lot of my fellow entrepreneurs and students, it’s taken a big toll on you, too… even if you don’t realize it.
But, here’s the thing: our subconscious is the smartest thing about us, and it’s tuned in to each detail of our day. And, even though our subconscious is brilliant, we can trick it by constantly telling it that we are living the most beautiful, magical, wonderful lives in existence.
Where bragging fits into your daily self-care
I’d imagine that, even reading this, you’re feeling quite a bit of resistance around the word bragging — right? Most of us grew up in that pattern of lack and negativity by being told that bragging was selfish and that it was a practice we shouldn’t make a habit of.
But, I’ve gotta tell you… bragging isn’t selfish. In fact, it will, quite literally, change your life. And, of course, I don’t mean bragging to the world that your life is better than yours. I just mean bragging to yourself that your life is so much better than you could ever have imagined.
I mean bragging that you woke up and the sun was twinkling outside of your window.
I mean bragging that you managed to pick the absolute perfect playlist to work to today.
I mean bragging that you booked your biggest client yet.
I mean bragging that you feel good about yourself today.
I mean bragging that you don’t feel so good about yourself today, but that you showed up anyways.
I mean that, every single day — without fail — you speak out loud the things you can brag about, and that you stop making your life and your story and your experiences wrong. That you celebrate them.
So, here’s your bragging challenge…
For the next 30 days, I want you to vocalize the things you’re proud of, grateful of, and happy about — and I want you to brag about them. Even when you don’t want to, even when you’re exhausted, and even when you don’t feel particularly proud or grateful or happy, I want you to brag.
(Psst… when 30 days passes, you won’t want to stop.)
This is something I’ve been doing a lot on Voxer with my business besties, and it’s been so incredibly freeing to let people witness me in these moments of wild gratitude and thankfulness… even for the tiniest things, and even when I don’t want to speak them out loud at all. If you’re not comfortable bragging out loud to someone else (though I’d challenge you to ask yourself why), that’s okay! Voice note your brags, journal them, or simply meditate through them on a morning walk.
This intentional bragging breaks you out of the cycle of constantly noticing the negative. Bragging — out loud — shocks you out of the hyperawareness you’re likely feeling of all the things you’ve done “wrong,” and triggers you to jump straight into gratitude instead. And, here’s a reminder: these do not have to be huge, big, massive brags, either. There are some days where I brag that I didn’t work out today, and I was okay with it; that I got to snuggle with my 2 year-old at 3:00 AM; that the Japanese maple outside of my window is rustling in the wind; that I raised my rates and stuck to them, that I’m simply alive.
Because, my friend, that simple act of being alive is worth so much more than we give it credit for. It deserves a brag.
So brag that you’re alive today. And then brag tomorrow, too.