Some of my favorite memories with my husband have been from our trips abroad. So when this European inspired Duquesne Club wedding came across my desk, I fell in love all over again. I don't exaggerate when I say this – Europe is a magical place. Beauty surrounds you at every turn, art inspires everything from architecture to food to clothing, and you're encouraged to slow down and enjoy yourself. Come to think of it…that's exactly what this wedding is like too. With the bride's love of culture and the groom's affinity for history in mind, the couple designed a day that brought the Euro vibe to life in a unique and beautiful way. The Duquesne Club's richly decorated ballroom was dressed with a sophisticated palette of cream and blush with gold accents. Nature was brought inside with hanging vines, twisting greenery, and even fresh grapes (so Rome!). Guests feasted on cheeses from around the world and homemade limoncello (another Italian staple) served as favors for the evening. The combination of an ornate venue, opulent style, and numerous subtle nods to other parts of the world, Jessica and Tom's big day is giving me a bad case of European wanderlust. Enjoy these images from Araujo Photography while I go and book our next trans-Atlantic flight!
From the bride…
When and how did you two meet?
We met in college while out one evening in the Southside in the fall of 2010. I knew that I would be studying abroad in Italy a few months from then and told Tom I wasn't looking for anything at the time. We went out a few times but ended it at that. When abroad, my favorite chocolates arrived to Rome from Tom and he was always in the back of my mind. I even told my friends this man would be the perfect husband, but not right now. I returned from my studies with that thought still in mind and we hit it off over a weekend at Lake Chataqua, NY. The rest is history!
Juicy details on the proposal, please! Where, when, how?
Capitva Island Beach, March 9, 2015. For Christmas a few months prior, Tom surprised me with a trip to Florida. I was excited because I have a lot of family down there that I love to visit. That Monday evening, Tom told me we were going to a restaurant on the beach to celebrate my grandmother's and cousin's birthday the next day. My aunt called me and said traffic was bad and they would be there a little later. I love sunsets so Tom parked the car and we began to watch the sunset. Tom soon asked me to stand and stated that a year ago when we came to Florida, he knew that he wanted to propose to me on this beach at sunset. He said a few other loving things and got down on one knee. I was ecstatic and said yes! He told me there was something else and through the tears I couldn't imagine what, as I was in shock. He pointed over to the restaurant and saw my parents, in-laws, and grandparents. It was such a beautiful moment! We celebrated by watching the sky go dark with a little bubbly, some tears, and a fabulous fish dinner.
Describe the look, theme, styles, and colors of the wedding.
I have a love for European culture, complimented by a European background. Meanwhile, Tom has a love for history. I was looking for a unique location and when I saw the Duquesne Club, I knew that it was perfect! The colors were very neutral and natural – creams and golds with accents of ivory and blush floral and vinery.
The wedding was a multi-level event. Cocktail hour included a 16′ cheese table with cheeses from around the world, complimented with wine barrels, grapes, and candelabras. In the Patio Room, we had a draping vinery and floral arrangements with hanging candles. In the ballroom for dinner, we had a king's table with high candelabras, mirrors, vinery, and grapes. We accented the table with two beautiful vintage chairs. After dinner, the guests went back downstairs for a cookie table with vintage accents, limoncello made by me and my mom, dancing, a men's inspired lounge, and a more feminine seating area off of the dance floor.
What made the wedding unique?
The wedding provided guests with our interpretation of a European, historical feel. From the design – which was inspired by the vines hanging in the streets of Rome – to the homemade limoncello that we had been making for months, it came together beautifully.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment of the day was the feeling of walking down the aisle and being handed off to my husband. The moment had so much meaning and was very emotional.
My second favorite was seeing our vision come to life! You work relentlessly for a full year and seeing it in front of our eyes was amazing!
What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?
Take a break from Pinterest. Most things on that site are crazy expensive or planned photo shoots. Your day will be beautiful because it is yours! Don't fret the details; something might not go right but it is okay. The day goes too fast to worry about anything other than celebrating your marriage and love with your family and friends.
Band: Elite Show Band | Bride's Dress: Anne Gregory for the Bride | Bride's Accessories: Toula's Bridal and Casa D'oro | Bride's Shoes: Aquazzura | Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhuillier from Bella Bridesmaids | Cake: Duquesne Club | Caterer: Duquesne Club | Ceremony Location: St. Paul Cathedral | Favors: Homemade limoncello | Flowers: Hepatica | Hair: Fluhme Glam Bar | Lighting: Gray Phoenix | Linens: Mosaic | Makeup: Fluhme Glam Bar | Menswear: Jack's Tuxedo | Photographer: Araujo Photography | Reception Venue: Duquesne Club | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Stationery: Nota Bene | Transportation: 3Kings Limo | Videography: Flashbox Films
Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals