Michael & Nicole’s Colorful, Personalized Wedding

Michael and Nicole’s wedding was truly like no other. They personalized everything, and made sure to involve their family and friends throughout the day. From getting ready in the family home to getting married in the family church, every part of the day was personal. Nicole’s mom, Claire, even made her wedding dress and hand-embroidered every napkin that was given out as favors. She planned every detail for Nicole so that she wasn’t stressed, and everything turned out to be stunning. Claire even used Nicole’s grandmother’s wedding dress to created the centerpieces! Michael also hand painted scenes to place on the back of every table number. They were given away to the guest with the birthday closest to the wedding date. How cool is that?

Check out photos from the gorgeous wedding, along with a Q&A with the bride herself.

Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.

A: Michael and I met on Hinge, but from the first date onward realized we had so much in common! We’re both accountants, have big families that we’re very close with, and love to laugh and travel together. After almost three years of dating, Michael proposed doing one of our favorite things together – walking on the trails around our home! It was the first snow of winter, and we had spent a day together pampering ourselves with a couples massage, decorating the Christmas tree, and generally enjoying each other’s company. The proposal was just the icing on the cake for such a great day together!

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

This is too hard! We loved every single second of our day (even when Michael wrote the most wonderful note to me that made me cry when I was about to walk down the aisle), and wouldn’t have had the wedding any other way!

What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?

Flowers were not a hugely important part of our wedding, but we really wanted to use them to add color and fun to the day. Unfortunately, two of my three favorite flowers were not available during September, but we were able to get LOTS of beautiful gerbera daisies and roses in our colors and we think they matched so well with the overall aesthetic of the day. The bridesmaids all wore lighter pink and coral dresses so the flowers would really pop, and we were so pleased with the result!

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

For the ceremony, my childhood church is open and airy, so it didn’t need a lot of added touches. Luckily, Flower Gallery of Manassas is the vendor for the church’s weekly flowers, so my parents were able to coordinate the flowers to match our colors. For the reception, Old Hickory Club is a beautiful location, with high ceilings and hardwood floors, and TONS of windows, so we knew that we didn’t need a lot of decorations to make the space beautiful. We focused on little touches that were all DIY: my mom made the centerpieces, including hand crocheting the mason jar covers and using some of my grandmother’s dress for the mason jars with the flowers. She also embroidered the favors, cloth napkins in our colors, with the guests’ initials and folded them into roses to add to the decorations. Michael hand-painted scenes from our travels together as part of the table numbers, and we gave them away to the person whose birthday was closest to our wedding day! We loved all these little things that were so meaningful to us.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?

We are both Catholic, so we knew that we would be having the ceremony in the Catholic Church where I grew up. My favorite flowers are peonies, gerbera daisies, and marigolds, so that helped determine the color palette of bright oranges and pinks. Most of all, Michael and I wanted to throw a party with good food, good wine, and lots of dancing, so we tried to focus on the little touches that would make the day FUN.

SEE MORE: How to Pick Your Wedding Colors

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.

My mom is a very talented seamstress and has made some of my outfits for past significant events (prom, etc). So it was always my dream to have my mom make my wedding dress. Me, my mom, and a couple of my aunts went to NYC to pick out the fabric and the lace, and used the colors of my grandmother’s dress, which I inherited, to help determine the right colors for my own. We also went dress shopping at a couple shops to try on different styles, which my mom then took inspiration from all of them based on my favorite parts to design the wedding dress. The general style was simple and light, with hand appliqued lace on the bodice and POCKETS! My favorite part was the veil, which had the lace from my wedding dress, and my mom and grandmother’s (mom’s side) wedding dresses. To round out the look, I wore pearl earrings from my late grandmother on my dad’s side, and borrowed an aunts pearl necklace. I also wore bright pink shoes just for fun! Michael’s look was simple and classic – he wanted grey to make it inviting, and pink ties to match the color theme. The bridesmaids all chose their own dresses (some did rent the runway!) keeping in the theme of the lighter pinks and corals. Accessories were earrings that were gifts from me, and gold shoes. The groomsmen matched Michael, but had pink bowties instead of ties!

Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

We like to think that everything was personalized about our day! We definitely put the most interesting spin on some of our “special” songs during the night. For example, we walked out to “Mean” by Taylor Swift at the reception, which was a fun little inside joke between us. The Father/Daughter dance was also half serious (to “My Girl” by the Tempations) and half fun ending in “Love Shack” by the B-52s. “Love Shack” is a HUGE family favorite and we used it to officially start the dance party — there was not a single person in their seats when the song was over! We also had some signature cocktails that represented us. Michael’s was on Old Fashioned, which he named after an accounting joke — which is perfect because we’re both accountants! It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the day. It was so wonderful seeing so many of our favorite people in one place dancing up a storm. We also loved the music, the food, just everything — we could go on and on!

SEE MORE: 8 Essential Tips for Picking Your Wedding Cake

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

Our wedding planning advice can be boiled down into two things: 1) Find vendors that you know you can trust (wedding planning websites are so helpful in that regard – ratings are a godsend!), and then let them help you make the day perfect. We were so blessed to have such amazing vendors help guide us through all the little decisions. There’s a reason they’re professionals! 2) Figure out what your wedding goal is (our was to have FUN) and then only focus on the things that threaten to make you miss your goal. It’s easy not to sweat the small stuff when you know that you won’t answer “no” to “will this make the wedding less fun”!

Bakery: M&T Events Custom cakes//Dress Designer: Claire Morson//Makeup Artist: Alison Harper & Company, LLC//Hair Stylist: Alison Harper & Company, LLC//Floral Designer: The Flower Gallery of Manassas//Reception Venue: Old Hickory Golf Course//Ceremony Location: St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church//DJ: Derek Entrekin//Photographer: Haleigh Nicole Photography

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