DC residents Lauren + Darden combined a vintage aesthetic with traditional Albanian heritage for their destination wedding. Add in a little Florida flair and you’ve got yourself this garden beauty. Wedding planner Nicole Kaney brought it all together, and Hunter Ryan Photo got the deets on camera…
After a tough search for the dress, this romantic Rivini gown was worth the splurge.
They were so happy to have Darden’s fam fly in from Kosovo. Lauren says, The whole ceremony was translated into Albanian by Dardan’s brother, including ee cummings poems. He did a great job! I found out that I’d have to recite all of the vows in Albanian right before walking down the aisle. Talk about nerve-racking! The best part was that we got two first kisses, first when we were pronounced married in English and then again in Albanian.
For the reception, Lauren wore a 100-year old Albanian gown that has survived several wars, and has been passed throughout the women of the family. Everyone participated in a traditional circle dance too.
L + D celebrated both cultures with cake + baklava for dessert.
Coffee shop romance: Dardan and I met at Starbucks in Gainesville, FL where we were both attending University of Florida. Since final exams were going on, there were no seats but at the bar, so we ended up sitting next to each other and started to talk. I didn’t do as well on my final, but I did get a husband!
Dinner parties are our jam, you guys. Especially when they’re as good lookin’ as this one. This dinner party was held to celebrate the launch of Please & Thank You, the brand-new cocktail leg of A MIHO Experience’s catering company. (Yep, that’s right, one of the tastiest SoCal caterers now does yummy drinks too!) The night kicked off with cocktails and tray passed bites from The Vetted Table. There was a mariachi band, a champagne cart service during dinner, and just the right mix of people.
Stephanie + Matthew’s wedding is proof that a country club wedding doesn’t have to feel overly formal or the least bit stuffy. Stephanie says, I wanted my wedding to feel romantic and not grand.I was going for a mix of elegant and rustic. Not that there’s anything wrong with grand, but we totally get where the girl is coming from. And she achieved her ideal romantic look with details like low centerpieces, a pastel palette, and lots of soft, beautiful lighting. Mint Photography was there to capture it all.
Advice from the bride: If possible, hire a coordinator—at least for the day of the wedding! It allows you and your family to enjoy the whole weekend.
Wow, we’re a little bit jelly of that ring!
I think my favorite moment from the wedding was when my father, my husband, and I were all at the altar. The day before we had all joked about who would cry first. My Dad is a very emotional guy and we thought for sure it would be him. He said all he wanted to do was avoid hysterically crying. Well, I ended up being the first one to lose it as I walked down the aisle—which then lead my father and husband to lose it too. As we all stood at the altar, my Dad then began to hysterically cry, which then made us all burst into laughter.
The bride’s family has a bee farm, so they harvested the honey and bottled it for every guest to take home as a favor. So sweet!