With it's subtle literary theme, an eclectic mix of styles, and a whole lot of personality, Nichole and Arnold's colorful wedding at the Gardens of Stonebridge is one worth seeing. The outdoor, summer affair was inspired by “The Secret Garden”, with roses, keys, ivy, and quotes from the novel taking center stage in many of the decor elements. A myriad of pieces from Vintage Alley Rentals, including fun vignettes, antique teacups and saucers, and a sweetheart table fit for a king and queen, added to the whimsical ambiance. However, an ombre effect courtesy of the bridesmaids dresses in varying shades of red and a troop of groomsmen in dress blues added a few bold touches to the day. In honor of Arnold's heritage, many Bolivian traditions made an appearance. Artisanal favor boxes made from orange and grapefruit peels plus two folkloric dances (complete with costume!) were my personal faves. Nichole had her own tribute with a veil and bridal belt she helped to design during a trip to Bolivia. These two seem like the sweetest couple and I'm so happy to share their heartfelt, inspirational wedding with all of you. Enjoy these photos captured by Kendelhardt Photography.
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
Arnold and I met at Seviche in downtown Pittsburgh on July 10, 2014 at a Latin Dance Night. When I accidentally bumped into his chair, we started talking. I tried to impress him with my Spanish and he tried to impress me with his bachata skills. Through conversation, we realized that we were living only a block away from each other in Sewickley! We danced the night away and have been together ever since! Oh, and of course our first dance at our wedding was a bachata. 🙂
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
In April of 2015, Arnold purchased a house in Pittsburgh. He insisted on moving in the very next day and told me to invite all of our friends and family over for a picnic after the move. I thought it was a bit rushed for a housewarming party, but invited everyone anyway. It was a crazy busy day and I rushed home at the very last minute to get ready for the party. When I got back, his parents, who were visiting from D.C., had a huge spread of Bolivian food ready to go. Before we ate, Arnold started talking on and on, and I couldn't figure out where he was going with it. He then asked my grandfather to say a prayer, but afterwards, he started talking again. This time I knew where he was going. When he asked me to marry him, I said, “A thousand times yes!” Little did I know, that when he had first been talking, he was giving a signal to his mom to get the ring, which was in her purse. However, in the midst of the move she had misplaced her purse and couldn't find it for a few minutes. I don't know how I missed all that was going on behind the scenes, but I couldn't have been more present when he got down on one knee in front of our family and friends, declared the most beautiful words of his love for me, and asked me to be his wife…with the most gorgeous oval ring, I might add!
Describe the wedding and what inspired it. What was unique about it?
The theme of our wedding was based on the novel “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett. We both love the story and built the decor for the reception around quotes from the novel, which we had displayed in English and Spanish around the reception. We wanted our day to have a whimsical feel. There's something absolutely magical about the Gardens of Stonebridge and our vision was even further brought to life by the breathtaking stylings of Trish from Vintage Alley Rentals. The escort cards were tags with a key attached, a symbol of the novel, and each centerpiece was different. I spent a long time collecting vintage and new items to match the theme and each table had its own unique vignette. We had the most gorgeous roses, an important symbol in the novel, and touches of ivy in the reception decor as well.
Arnold is Bolivian and we wanted to pay homage to his beautiful culture through bold color choices. Each bridesmaid in our bridal party wore a different dress (they picked their own style!) but in red, coral, and blush shades. The variety of color went perfectly with the bold colors in our church and were so stunning against the backdrop of green at the Gardens of Stonebridge.
My personal tribute to Bolivia was my to-die-for 13 foot, lace bordered cathedral veil and custom belt that I helped to design on a trip we had taken to Bolivia. We got married in the church my grandmother grew up in when she was young and it is now our church as well. Arnold wore his army uniform and so did his groomsmen, who are or were also in the Army. We had many details that paid respect to the military, such as the ceremony table for the fallen soldier, and even a little army tank filled with flowers at our sweetheart table!
Arnold's cousins and friends performed the most amazing Bolivian folkloric dances at our reception. Everyone loved it and it was such an incredible experience to see both of our families coming together to enjoy and appreciate one another.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
One of my absolute favorite moments of the day was the time we shared alone (just us and the photographer) shortly after the wedding, taking pictures, laughing, and just reveling in the moment. They were some of the sweetest moments, twirling in my dress, laughing in the pine forest, and sharing the most magical looks into each others' eyes by the lily pads.
Bride's Dress: Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning | Bride's Veil & Belt: Designed and Hand-Embroidered in Cochabamba, Bolivia by Wendy Valderrama | Bride's Shoes: Nine West with bling DIY'd by the bride | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung from Weddington Way | Cake: Carrianne Cake Design | Caterer: Medure's Catering | Caricature Artist: Caricatures by Callahan | Ceremony Location: The Church of the Assumption | DJ: DJ Loyal | Favors: Boxes handcrafted from orange and grapefruit peels by women artisans in Bolivia | Flowers: Forget Me Not Flowers | Hair: Jaymie Petroff Nevin | Makeup: Kaly Nelson | Menswear: Army service uniforms and Men's Wearhouse | Photographer: Kendelhardt Photography | Reception Venue: Gardens of Stonebridge | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Stationery: Zazzle | Transportation: Vogue Limousines and First Student | Videography: Jason Sealy | Wedding Planner: Katherine's Daughter Events