Fancy Organic Chic Wedding at Phipps: Amanda & Chris

While woodsy and a little boho, the organic chic wedding trend can still be fancy.  Just take this feature for example.  Amanda and Chris took one of the hottest looks to hit the wedding world in recent years and they added a healthy dose of glam to create a vibe that was one part natural and one part one heck of a party.  The greenery and gorgeous, seasonal blooms of Phipps, which is a special place for this couple and their chosen reception venue, was the main source of inspiration.  To compliment the orange, yellow, and earth tones of their October day, Amanda stuck with shades of grey and taupe for the bridal party, while the decor added pink and mixed metallics to the palette.  Add in lots of mercury glass, a mirrored seating chart, textured linens, and other sparkly details and you've got yourself a wedding that fuses organic chic with glamour.  A few highlights:

  • Amanda's shoes.  These Jimmy Choos were fit for a QUEEN!  Pearls, rhinestones, and feather straps…hell freaking YES!
  • Those florals.  In addition to the bride's textural, cascading bouquet that was finished with long satin ribbons, Sapphire & Lace Design cooked up a variety of centerpieces that included silver candelabras, a trio of mercury glass, and pretty low arrangements.  Not to mention that sweetheart table swag…keep your eyes peeled for it!
  • A selfie station.  Because what is a wedding without a few selfies?  Amanda and Chris's included cut outs of their cat and their favorite celebrities.  So fun!

Classic but modern, this A+ wedding day was documented beautifully by Jody Mader Photography.  Prepare to be inspired.

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From the bride…

When and how did you two meet?

I had just moved back from working in NYC and wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do, but knew I wanted to go to grad school.  After nine years in Lake Tahoe, Chris had just moved back to the area and was in the same boat.

We both attended a grad school open house on December 1, 2008 at Pitt's Katz School of Business.  I was sitting in a chair waiting for the open house to start and I kept feeling like someone was staring at me!  Every time I looked over though, no one was there.  After a few times of feeling those “eyes,” I caught him!  Chris looked at me awkwardly and asked where the restroom was.  HAHA great pick up line right?  After that, the program started and I found myself talking to Chris.  We were chatting about grad school, the GMAT test we would have to take, and having both moved back recently.  The rest of the day we stuck together, ate lunch together, and found ourselves laughing a lot.  I was so excited to have made a friend that perhaps I would be in school with.  Fast forward to the end of the day…Chris asked where I parked and walked me to my car.  He said he couldn't remember which garage he was in, and then said we should exchange numbers so we could study together.  HAHA another great pickup line!  Turns out Chris knew exactly where he parked, but needed an excuse for a little more time with me and a reason to get my number.

The next month passed by and we exchanged a few texts and MySpace (yes, you read that correctly) messages and finally a phone call.  Chris asked if I wanted to get sushi and although I wasn't sure if it was a date or just someone who was going to be my friend at school…I said yes!  He picked me up, we went and had sushi and great conversation, and at the end of the night he gave me a really awkward hug!  During the date, he asked me if I would go snow tubing with him the next day, and I said yes again.  Well, we saw each other the next day and I hadn't laughed that hard or had that much fun in a really long time.  It was refreshing to be with someone who was fun, easy going, and such a gentleman.  He asked to see me the next day…and I said yes again…and well, ….every day after that.  He made it easy to fall in love!

Juicy details on the proposal, please!  Where, when, how?

My birthday is in June and Chris had been promising to take me to Bedford Springs and horse back riding.  Well, it never happened and I was getting super disappointed.  Come September, to my surprise he finally booked it!  I was waiting in the car, impatient as usual, and he said, “Hey can you come help me get our bags.”  I was thinking “OMG Chris…we are going to be so late for horse back riding…why can't you just get the bags yourself!!!”  When I came in the house, he was on one knee with the most gorgeous pear shaped ring I had EVER seen!  This whole time he had been delaying my “birthday” trip so he could do the proposal at home and then we could immediately celebrate in Bedford Springs.  It was so well thought out!  He had actually tried to tie the ring to my cat's collar and failed miserably, as she tried to eat it HA!  It was perfect…

Describe the wedding.  The look, theme, style, colors, etc.

I wanted our colors to complement the gorgeous orange, yellow, and earthy colors of fall.  I stuck to a neutral pallet of greys and taupes for the bridesmaid dresses and greys for the guys.  I wanted it to feel like fall, but without feeling “holiday-ish”.  We had a gorgeous 74 degree day in late October!  So with the natural lighting and beautiful flowers Phipps had to offer, it felt effortless and hit the mark with what I was looking for.

I accessorized myself and the girls with metallic shoes and jewelry so that although it was a neutral pallet, there was some accents to make everyone stand out.  I wanted modern and eclectic – from my patterned dress to the art deco back of it and the girls in different textures and colors.  The guys wore grey tuxes – simple and sophisticated – with no boutonniere.  Once again, I was going for a modern look and not too traditional.  I wanted to stay away from what I felt like everyone else was doing!

What inspired your vision?

Phipps is a special place to us as a couple, so there was no doubt it would be my venue of choice.  I pulled inspiration from the greenery and fall foliage and flowers there to come up with my taupe and grey neutral pallet.  I added mixed metals everywhere – in the three table dressings, printed table overlays, and candles – to create levels, textures, and an eclectic but modern vibe.  I wanted the flowers to reflect Phipps – wild and natural – nothing too bridal.  The ceremony was on the terrace at sunset, cocktail hour in the tropical forest, and reception in the special events hall.  I wanted elements of interaction, like a party, so I did a bar with our signature cocktail and a S’mores table where guests would go make their own treats.  My ceremony was not traditional; the vows were our own and the Rabbi talked about us as a couple through words we wrote and told to her.  We wanted it to sound like our story, rather than a ceremony.  We kept the terrace and forest open during the reception so the guests could explore.  My inspiration came from us as a couple.  I wanted my guests to be in our favorite place, among our favorite foods and music.  We created a menu of non-wedding foods such as slow braised short ribs with a beer BBQ molasses sauce.  I made sure every detail was reflective of our style and encompassed the essence of who we are, such as our selfie station with our favorite celebs and our cat as “BIG HEADS.”  We wanted to give our guests things to do while celebrating with us.

What made your wedding unique?

I think what made it unique was that nothing was generic.  Every single detail down to the smallest ones were thought out and planned for.  Our attention to detail kept it fun and unique.

What advice would you give to other Burgh Brides planning their big day?

I would tell any bride to make sure they stay true to their style and add elements of them as a couple in every detail.  That was my favorite part… from our signature cocktail (our favorite drink – a moscow mule), our S'mores bar for Chris's love for S'mores, to our bride, groom, and cat wedding cake topper!  Every piece of it was “US”.  My advice would 100% be to create an atmosphere showcasing you as a couple.  Be true to your relationship in your wedding planning.

Any must haves, must dos, or can't live withouts?  Anything you would do differently?

Must haves – a great makeup artist and hair dresser!!!  Every bride wants to feel their prettiest.  With that being said, trials are a MUST DO!  You want to make sure you perfect your look prior to that day so that on your wedding day, it's easy!

We did a very casual southern barbeque for our rehearsal at our home.  I think this is a must do as well.  The times of doing super fancy rehearsals are over.  Everyone felt so comfortable and it took one less stressor away from us, knowing we would be at home.

Things I would do differently – I planned 100% on my own.  Looking back I probably could have delegated more.  However, I really wanted to make it “ours.”

Vendors

Bride's Dress: Hayley Paige from The Vow Boutique | Bride's Accessories: Orr's Jewelers & Bauble Bar | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: BHLDN, Nordstrom, ASOS, & BCBG | Cake: Prantl's Bakery | Caterer: Phipps Conservatory | Ceremony Location: Phipps Conservatory | Challah Bread: Prantl's Bakery | DJ: Modern Era Weddings | Favors: Applelicious | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design | Hair: Wedding Dos by Jules | Lighting: Modern Era Weddings | Linens: Lendable Linens | Makeup: Adrienne Pace | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Photography: Jody Mader Photography | Reception Venue: Phipps Conservatory | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Selfie Station: The bride and Sapphire & Lace Design | S'mores Bar: Bella Christie | Stationery: Zazzle | Transportation: Venus Transportation | Videography: Modern Era Weddings

DJ: Modern Era Weddings | Flowers: Sapphire & Lace Design |Lighting: Modern Era Weddings | Rentals: Vintage Alley Rentals | Selfie Station: Sapphire & Lace Design | Videography: Modern Era Weddings

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