When Danielle, a 30-year-old event director, stepped into a butterfly garden in Costa Rica, she couldn't stop saying, "I want to live here." The two were die-hard New Yorkers (they met at a hotel party in Union Square in 2009), but Marc, her boyfriend of four years, knew the butterfly garden was the perfect place to propose to Danielle, a major nature lover
A year later, in June 2013, the two wed in an outdoor ceremony befitting Danielle's inner flower girl, in a wide open field sans shoes. The reception to follow, at a historic manor in upstate New York, was just as easy and elegant, with the help of family heirlooms, gold candles, and plenty of DIY details. Click through to see Danielle and Marc's gorgeous I Do's!
For their save-the-dates, Danielle and Marc went the extra mile to make them special: They held up signs that said "Save the Date" and stepped into an NYC bar's photo booth, then sent out the adorable results. Danielle hand-glittered a heart on each invitation and reply card, created by a graphic designer friend.
Danielle chose an allover lace gown designed by Marisa, because it felt soft and feminine and she fell in love with the plunging back. She paired it with a long veil (she switched to a shoulder-length version for the reception), glitter Kate Spade peeptoe pumps, and a diamond barrette and drop earrings. Most meaningful to her was her grandmother's lace handkerchiefs, given to her by her aunt more than 60 years ago. "She said she was saving them for her granddaughter, so my mother and aunt weren't allowed to use them!" Danielle says.
Danielle's bridesmaids all wore dresses by Donna Morgan. Three chose a dress in grey and three went with mint green, while the groomsmen looked summer-appropriate in grey Perry Ellis suits.
When Danielle and Marc visited their venue, Bourne Mansion in Oakdale, NY, Danielle was immediately drawn to a wide open field behind the historic manse. "It was what we loved most about the venue, and we immediately knew it would be our ceremony spot," Danielle says. In front of 176 guests, Danielle and Marc exchanged vows in a Jewish ceremony on that very field — no shoes required — under a chuppah built by Danielle's father, uncles and cousins.
Danielle and Marc decked out their reception in a palette of white, gold, and cream. The couple fell in love with the skylight in Bourne Mansion's main ballroom, which lit up the room all day long.
On each escort card, Danielle hand-stamped a small envelope with a personal note from her and Marc. "Crazy? Maybe. But worth it!" she says.
Each table had centerpieces containing a mix of blush spray roses and baby's breath, candles, and weathered gold glassware. The table numbers, purchased from Etsy, were wrapped around glass bottles with twine.
The couple mixed it up by serving a funfetti cake, alternating between layers of canoli cream and chocolate mousse filling. They used the same cake topper Danielle's parents used at their own wedding!
For their first dance, Danielle and Marc chose "I Found You" by The Alabama Shakes. Then her father cut in to "You Belong to Me" by The Duprees, a song he used to sing to Danielle when she was a baby.
At the end of the night, surrounded by family and friends, Danielle and Marc lit sparklers to toast the day. Her advice to future brides: "It's your day. Do as you dream and don't look back. And go barefoot!"
Ceremony and Reception Site: Bourne Mansion || Gown: Marisa Bridals || Hair: Melissa of Salon Sculpture || Makeup: Lisa Barri || Shoes: Kate Spade || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan || Jewelry: Kwiat || Groom's Suit: Hugo Boss || Groomsmen's Attire: Perry Ellis || Invitations and menus: Teneka King Graphic Design || Florist: Designs by Dara || Caterer: Lessings || Music: Chris Goldteeth and Lord Easy of Karaoke Killed the Cat || Cake: Black Forest Bakery || Videographer: Mint Wedding Cinematography || Photographer: Ein Photo