I’m typically not one to be at a loss for words but when this European garden-inspired wedding landed on my desk, I was left utterly speechless. It’s the design genius of Lauryn Prattes that made for incredible details like the bride’s favorite poem calligraphed on the table runner, not to mention floral works of art crafted by Sweet Root Village. Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography told the story behind her lens and this glimpse is only the beginning.
European Garden Inspiration: Lauren has the most incredible sense of style and decisive nature, making her an absolute dream bride! From the start, Lauren knew she wanted a long sleeve Berta Bridal Gown, which set the tone for the rest of the planning. Bridesmaids were dressed in chic black long gowns and the gentlemen donned a classic black tux. The venue is a private estate nestled along the Wye River in Maryland. Florals featuring lisianthus, greens, and other white blooms lined the ceremony aisle and guests tossed white rose petals and olive leaves at the couple after they said: “I Do”.
Upon arrival to the Eastern Shore of Maryland wedding guests were welcomed with custom curated welcome boxes featuring treats from a few special places to the couple – a postcard welcome note featured dogwoods from Virginia where the couple had previously lived, pralines from Charleston, New Jersey blueberry jam homemade by the bride and her grandmother and of course crab chips, a Maryland favorite.
The ceremony took place outside overlooking the Wye River. Pre-ceremony cocktails allowed guests to mingle until ready for the ceremony to start. As the couple walked back up the aisle they were showered in rose petals and olive leaves. During cocktail hour guests sipped on signature cocktails named after the bride and grooms pets, such as Pippa’s Prosecco Punch featuring a silhouette cut out of the bride’s Persian cat Pippa.
In lieu of a tent top, guests dined al fresco under a vine-covered structure and antiqued bronze chandeliers. Signature cocktails were named after the couple’s two pets and featured a silhouette cutout of each. Lauren and Randy danced their first dance together to The Four Season’s, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” a tribute to the groom’s Jersey roots. Place settings featured Art Italica plates with gold matte flatware and menu’s tucked into vellum envelopes with each guest name delicately calligraphed and sealed with a custom wax seal of the local Wye Oak tree. Green vine and a flower also adorned each place setting. Dinner included fresh ingredients from local farms and featured a Chesapeake rockfish and Old Bay rubbed sirloin. Lauren wanted each guest to enjoy the food that reminded her of home.
The head table featured a white paper runner with Lauren’s favorite poem from Pablo Neruda calligraphed on each end. This was covered with a hand dyed silk runner from silk and willow. The cake was a lemon elderflower cake decorated with white bas relief and green sugar vines. Guests also indulged in a local favorite, Smith Island cake, a traditional cake in Maryland with a true love story history.