Google+ Peony Wedding by Rachel Fesko - Southern Weddings

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In just five short days, V6 will be on newsstands, and I can barely stand it! Want your copy sooner? Pre-order you copy now, as shipping starts today!!

While we are bursting at the seams with excitement over V6 (admittedly making it a bit hard to focus!), today’s cheerful wedding snaps me right back to our mission and why we love what we do! The word that comes to mind when I look at Danielle + Sam’s big day is joyful. The fun pops of color, their sweet smiles, and especially their vows- they made them rhyme!- fills my heart to the brim with joy! As for those blooms, Danielle could not have made a better decision by letting the gorgeous florals do the talking!

Big hugs to Rachel Fesko for sharing this sweet day!

Y’all, I could just die! Danielle is way too cute in one of my very favorite dresses of all time!

Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! I borrowed beautiful brooches from mother, mother-in-law and both of my grandmothers. The ones from my mother and grandmothers were vintage, so they also served as my something old, while the one from my mother-in-law was my something new. The something blue was the stunning ribbon wrapped around the bouquet.

Describe your wedding flowers. The flowers were one of the most important aspects of the wedding to me, and were a big part of why I chose Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden as a backdrop. Melanie of New Creations Flower Company knew this, and accented the beauty of nature with absolutely gorgeous bouquets and centerpieces. My bouquet was full and textured, and was made with pale pink ranunculus, Juliet garden roses, coral charm and purple peonies with lamb’s ear and geranium leaves. To accent the vibrant blue of the bridesmaid’s dresses, tweedia was also added. The centerpieces featured many of the same flowers placed in milk glass or blue glass vases and accented with mercury votive candles.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Sam and I decided to do a first look in the beautiful Orchid Conservatory of DSBG. We really wanted to capture the joy of this special moment in a setting where our wonderful photographer could capture every detail.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Sam and I wrote our own vows on pink and blue note cards. Sam wrote his first and was inspired to make his vows rhyme, so I, of course, had to follow suit! My favorite lines from his vows were “I vow to always catch you when you fall, because you are breathtaking when you fly. I vow to make you happy every day, because it tugs my heartstrings with you cry.” Sam’s favorite lines from my vows were “I vow to always make the bed; who knew such a chore would make you see red.”

The greatest challenge Sam and I faced when planning the wedding was being out of state. Thank goodness for Skype! We had to schedule many meetings with our vendors via computer, and it sometimes felt as if we were flying by the seat of our pants. However, all of our vendors came through in a magnificent way–we were staggered by the look and feel of every aspect of our wedding.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? There is something quintessentially Southern about mason jars, and blue ones played heavily into our ceremony and reception decor. For our wedding favors, I wanted to incorporate the theme of Charlotte, my hometown, and Chicago, Sam’s hometown, coming together. We decided to give out Krispy Kreme doughnuts and Garett’s Popcorn, gourmet specialities of each geographic area. We called it “Windy City Treats meets Queen City Sweets!”

Describe your wedding cake or dessert. WOW Factor Cakes truly created an edible masterpiece. Our cake was four tiers of marble cake with alternating layers of hazelnut cream and chocolate ganache. The design of the cake was inspired by the floral lace pattern of my wedding dress, while the color of the cake accentuated the florals and bridal fashion.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Sam and I met online before it was mainstream. My high school boyfriend ran a computer game server, so I would hang out in the server’s chat room to talk to him. One day, there was a heated debate about feminism and I passionately defended girl gamers. Sam was intrigued by my point of view and sent me a message. We began talking every day, solidifying our friendship. We lost touch when I had go on medical leave from college, but reconnected when I returned. Our relationship turned serious when I went to study abroad in London in the spring of 2008. I had a hard time making friends, and Sam was there for me every step of the way!
Tell us all about the proposal! Our anniversary was coming up on May 20th, but I was going to be out of town. Sam and I planned to celebrate when I got back by going to a fancy restaurant. Unbeknownst to me, that was the day Sam was planning on proposing. On the 17th, I was home putting together a cat tree for our animals. I was getting angry because Sam should have been home hours before and he had been very cryptic about his whereabouts. When he got home, he could barely contain his excitement. After telling me he couldn’t wait, he bent down on one knee and handed me a small box. I gasped and opened it excitedly. Nestled inside was a beautiful ring. Sam asked if I would marry him and I immediately said yes!
When did y’all get married? June 15, 2013
Tell us about finding your wedding dress. My mother and sisters came up to Illinois for an extended vacation and we booked a ton of appointments back to back. I knew I wanted a tea-length gown, so that narrowed my selection. When I tried on the Justin Alexander dress in the natural/coffee, I had the “feeling.” I went to another appointment the next day and I tried on the Justin Alexander dress again, this time in ivory. This only reinforced my hunch that the same dress, but in the unique color, was my dress.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My mother read a passage about the nature of love from The Imitation of Christ by Thomas A’Kempis.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. For our first dance, we used “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. This was because we were a long-distance couple for two years, and got used to the longing and the tough goodbyes that compose long-distance relationships. During our reception, Sam wanted to keep the theme music upbeat and tried to incorporate elements of rock music. As a result, our cake cutting song was “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, our bouquet toss was to “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen, and our garter toss song was the Mission Impossible theme. We also had a blast with our entrance music, which was “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore. We chose this because Sam got to come in dressed in an entire outfit of thrift shop gear, which was a huge hit with everyone!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: I have so many favorite details! My sister is in art school and she both drew and hand-painted our wedding invitations. Another one was the cake topper. I was a DIY kind of bride, so I created the kitty cake topper myself in the likeness of our two cats. Sam and I also love board games and puzzles, so we incorporated this by having our guestbook be a large wooden puzzle featuring our favorite engagement photo.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We hit the jackpot with all of our vendors, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with the work they did for us. That being said, the food and drinks were a huge hit with everyone at the wedding, so I have to hand it to Best Impressions catering for really doing something special.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? There were a ton of memorable moments during our wedding! Still, it felt like the whole day just flew by. One moment that really stood out for both Sam and me was during the dance party at the reception. My best man requested “Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, and during the song, everyone in our party gathered around us in a circle. They proceeded to serenade Sam and I throughout the whole song. I have rarely in my life felt more loved than I did during that song, and it really helped cap off the best night of my life!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Hire a wedding planner, especially if you are planning a wedding out of state! Ashley was worth every penny. Her relationships with other vendors ensured good pricing and saved me lots of time, as I did not have to wade through reviews or call and book the vendors themselves. Having a planner also allowed me to relax more and enjoy the process–I knew Ashley would have all the minutia I would have otherwise stressed about executed beautifully!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Sam and I are looking forward to crafting a life together in a way that was not possible before. We are both moving forward in our careers and are saving up for a house.

marissa Written with love by Marissa
13 Comments
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Love Danielle’s beautiful bouquet!

  2. avatar Featured on Southern Weddings: Danielle + Sam | The Hostess Blog reply

    […] just pinch me! Danielle and Sam’s beautiful, bright, garden-inspired June wedding is on Southern Weddings blog today. Can you just say dream come true?? One of my favorite blogs picked up one of my favorite […]

  3. avatar Emily reply

    The dress and the flowers in this wedding are truly STUNNING! Totally different from most other weddings!

  4. avatar Ivy Ellen reply

    This is such a beautiful wedding! I especially love the wedding dress it is so pretty. Congratulations to you both

  5. avatar Now That’s a Sweet Favor | Lulu's Event Design reply

    […] check out more photos of this wedding and this genius bride check out the Peony Wedding […]

  6. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up | Southern Weddings reply

    […] Danielle and Sam’s joyful big day put such a smile on our faces this week! We love her tea-length dress, their colorful flowers, and the details inspired by their respective hometowns. See it here. […]

  7. avatar Kvetinová inšpirácia – Pivonky » Perfect Day reply

    […] Credits * 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 […]

  8. avatar Anniversary: Danielle + Sam – The Graceful Host reply

    […] year of wedded bliss, Danielle & Sam! PS. If you haven’t seen their wedding featured on Southern Weddings and Loverly, be sure to check it […]

  9. avatar Danielle & Sam | Best Impressions Caterers reply

    […] posted on Southernweddings.com and looking at the pictures makes us want the warm weather back! Click here to go check it out! The beautiful photos are by Rachel Fesko […]

  10. avatar Amazing Florals reply

    Great article and thanks for sharing those lovely peony wedding flower photos!

  11. avatar Chelsea reply

    I love this wedding- the colors, the smiles! What is the white star shaped flower mixed in with the bouquets? A tree blossom?

  12. avatar 15 Ways to Include Doughnuts in Your Wedding | The dream wedding in USA reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings around […]

  13. avatar 15 Ways to Include Doughnuts in Your Wedding | Wedding Shows in the UK reply

    […] by: Rachel Fesko Photography on Southern Weddings via […]

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