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11 Wedding Details a Bride Won’t Want to Overlook

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Attending a masterfully choreographed wedding this past weekend in North Carolina was not only a heartwarming experience but an opportunity to appreciate the fine art of details. Each moment provided fresh occasions for delight,  as I was once again reminded that understatement is its own signature of elegance. As the mother of the bride told me, “I didn’t want the decorations overdone; it’s meant to be a farm.”


The small, “at home” wedding took place in an intimate cathedral-ceilinged room with a dramatic stone wall. A narrow gallery accommodated the musicians, a single lush flower arrangement flanked either side of the mantle and the “nod” to a chapel was carried out by simple thick garlands of June greenery that bordered the aisle. The outdoor reception was a counterpoint to this intimate scene, taking place in the tented riding rink on a hillside overlooking the house.


It was an honor to be included at the wedding of the daughter of friends who are dear to me…and in this case, also an occasion for inspiration. Here are my takeaways that every bride and MOB will well appreciate and may not want to overlook.

Detail #1: Start early to book your dream photographer.
This bride chose the celebrity man of the hour, Denis Reggie, who first gained renown for his image of John Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette at their wedding on Cumberland Island.

Detail #2: Be practical…you’ll be appreciated for it.
Select a chic, flattering dress that only masquerades as a “bridesmaid’s dress” for one day and then can be worn and enjoyed for many other occasions.

Detail #3: Think outside the box when it comes to bridesmaid flowers.
The three bridal attendants in North Carolina draped full garlands of June greens (as designed for the wedding aisle) over their arms rather than carrying bouquets.


Detail #4: Flower girls and ring bearers add a lot to the ceremony.
Giving extra thought to the design of the basket and color of the rose petals is yet one more detail not to overlook.

Detail #5: Pretty place settings.
Opt for a special place setting that provides a sense of personal entertaining at home rather than another rental for an event. Anna Weatherley’s hand painted charger and salad plate are an addition to any wedding!


Detail #6: Ethereal tablecloths are a wonderful “understory” to a well conceived table.
Sheer cloths that have a three dimensional design element add another level of detail to that ever important seated dinner reception.


Detail #7: Creative lighting.
Simple, playful (and not costly), paper lanterns are also practical for lowering the ceiling of a large tent, helping to convey a more intimate feeling.


Detail #8: Have a consistent focal point.
Continue  the garden theme with tall lattice columns at each corner of the large bar that also show off the floral arrangements.


Detail #9: Dressing up the Groomsmen.
The more the merrier…select a crop of “honorary groomsmen” who can be called upon to help in sundry ways; their identifying boutonnière adds a festive note!

Detail #10: Think about how you look from behind, also. 
A back detail is a refreshing and chic way to kick up the fashion interest (as designer Lela Rose knows only too well).

Detail #11: Add some welcome vitals to the ever popular” goody bag.”
List all attendees and their cell phone numbers, as well as where they are staying during the wedding festivities (you may need to return her shoes she left behind…)


Happy Summer Weddings!

Featured Image Credit, Nicholas Mele Photography

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Bettie Bearden Pardee

About Bettie Bearden Pardee

Author of Private Newport and Living Newport, garden furniture designer (The Parterre Bench), national lecturer, and entertaining expert. An honoree for the second year on "The Salonniere 100 America's Best Party Hosts", she was also the host and creative producer of "The Presidential Palate: Entertaining at the White House".

2 thoughts on “11 Wedding Details a Bride Won’t Want to Overlook

  1. Beautiful Bettie, you captured all the moments in photograph and text.
    You are on top with cheerful news and happy days.
    Lynn and Dick Ziglar

  2. My rule of thumb at weddings is to always get a photo of both the youngest and oldest person in attendance- preferably together. The hired photographers will get plenty of photos of the bride and groom.

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