Women We Love Share Their Wedding Stories and Wisdom

We’re no experts, but we do believe this: no matter what the tradition or so-called etiquette rules, your wedding day should above all be personal and feel like an expression of you and your partner, and the life you have together. From the dress to the venue to the vows, what works for one couple doesn’t mean it works for another. Of course that doesn’t mean you won’t be scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. Which is why we went straight to four cool-girls who have recently tied the knot to find out first, what they wore, and second, what they learned along the way.

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JEN SZETO (TRENTER)

Founder of Window of Imagination, this San Francisco-based producer, creative collaborator and digital influencer recently wed her partner of seven years, Colin Trenter, at his childhood home in Kings Mountain, CA. She wore a Rita Vinieris dress to walk down the aisle (above) and the white Linden dress by Kamperett for their mini-moon in Big Sur (top).

“Colin grew up in the most picturesque mountainside home, a home that his parents lovingly shared for almost 30 years before his dad’s passing almost two years ago. We really wanted to feel like his dad was still with us, watching us get married, and we couldn’t think of any other place more fitting.

It all came together this past Memorial day weekend. On Saturday, we held a tea and civil ceremony at my parents’ house, and on Sunday we gathered 85 of our nearest & dearest and exchanged personal vows in Colin’s magical family garden. We escaped the next day and spent a few nights ‘mini-mooning’ in Big Sur.

We did most of the wedding planning ourselves, and though we were able to get everything done in two moths (thanks to Colin’s mom, our wedding coordinator, and Google Docs), we easily could have used an extra month. The planning was very stressful at times, but when the weekend finally came, I realized it was totally worth it. Just don’t be afraid to take or ask for help. One thing I’m really glad we did was we leaned on our inner circle for vendor recommendations and overall support, and we asked a number of friends to participate in our wedding (i.e. invitation design and theme, officiant, DJs, MC). Doing this made for the most personal and heartfelt experience I’ll never forget.

And, if you’re like us and plan to honeymoon at a later date, still try to take a few days off after the wedding to decompress and bask in all the love. You’re going to work really hard to put on the greatest celebration of your life, let it all sink in. You won’t regret it!”

Photo by Helena and Laurent.

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PHOEBE SUNG

Co-founder of Cold Picnic, the Brooklyn-based designer wed her partner, in life and in business, Peter Buer in May. She wore a vintage silk/linen Christian Dior skirt suit, an American Apparel bandeau bikini top, Rafa sandals purchased from Lisa Says Gah, and earrings of their own design. He wore a khaki suit by Shades of Grey and custom white Adidas sneakers with their wedding date embossed on the heel. Their dog Phillip donned a jasmine collar created by their florist, and longtime friend, Emily Thompson.

“We’d always wanted to have a backyard wedding, and originally planned to have a more classic wedding but once we started planning we realized that our house/backyard really couldn’t accommodate very many people. So we scaled down a LOT, basically uninviting anyone from out of town who wasn’t immediate family or a very best friend. We’d been so loosey-goosey about the whole event that luckily no one was angry at us!

In the end, we were married by one of our closest friends (who was ordained for the occasion) in our backyard surrounded by our parents and siblings and a tiny handful of close friends. Then we went out to dinner at a sweet little Italian trattoria nearby. After dinner we had a larger cocktail party for good friends in the area. For us it was the perfect day.

We learned a lot of lessons when planning the wedding! The first was not to plan for other people. We were worried about throwing a nice wedding to please our families, but what we realized was they just wanted us to be relaxed and happy. I think we were both lucky in that respect. We also realized that if we planned within our budget instead of really stretching, we weren’t stressed by little all last minute expenses that popped up. And finally, somehow, we found that everything always falls into place. My dream shoes arrived straight from the factory at 9:30am the day of the wedding! There was so much to do in the few days before that it was pointless worrying about anything.”

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REBECCA RAWLINSON (LEO)

Owner of Rebecca Bree, one of our lovely boutiques, the Vancouver-based stylist wed her longtime partner Rick Leo at Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu in the fall. She wore her dream dress by legendary designer Carolina Herrera.

“The most important advice I can give, that someone gave me to me, was to make sure you take a minute during the reception to take a look around and enjoy the moment. It will go by so quickly so it’s important to take it all in!

Stay focused on the important things, like marrying the love of your life! The rest doesn’t really matter. And if something goes wrong, just laugh and move on. There’s nothing you can really do about it, so just go with it! I spilled red wine all over my dress during the reception! I just looked down and my stunning lace Carolina Herrera dress covered in wine and all I could do was laugh. It made everyone else around me feel at ease. And the party just kept on rocking!”

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ADELE TETANGCO

Garmentory’s co-founder wed her partner Ryan Savella in the fall in the Philippines at the Shangri-La Mactan Resort in Cebu. She wore a dress by Callahan, Rachel Comey heels and custom-made Lizzie Fortunato floral headband and necklace.

“I had a destination wedding. It was on a beach in Cebu. It was amazing and the best time ever. We made a whole trip out of it and all of our friends came. We started on in Japan, went to Manila then proceeded to Cebu for the wedding. By the time we got to Cebu, I was so relaxed from having so much fun. I stopped caring about the small details and just let everything go. We even forgot to go to our wedding rehearsal because we were relaxing on the beach. I don’t see how else I could have enjoyed the paradise that we were in if I hadn’t.”

MANDY KORDAL

Founder of knitwear line Kordal, this Brooklyn-based designer wed her partner, Alex Bayer, on January 13, 2018 in Guatemala. Over the week of their destination wedding, Mandy wore a number of beautiful pieces made by some of her favorite indie designers (and ours too!) such as Ajaie Alaie, Aurora Vestita, LOQ, Rachel Comey and Nettie Kent. On her special day she wore a beautiful dress made by her dear friend Ena Topalovic, which had a slight ‘70s vibe with an open back and flowing lace.

It was the most incredible day, filled with love, family, friends, amazing food, volcanoes, the most epic dance party, plus a late night karaoke session to end the night!

Words can’t describe the beauty of Lake Atitlan, I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect place for our ceremony. Alex’s sister Ellen was our officiant, and she did such a beautiful job. Both of our moms cleansed the garden by burning sage before the ceremony. Alex’s dad and our family friend Bruce played music while I walked down the aisle, and had everyone join in to sing “Eight Days a Week” as we walked out. We decided to write our own vows, which I highly encourage, it was truly special to read those words to one another in front of all of our loved ones.”

Getting hitched soon? Check out our Wedding Shopping Guide for a little more inspiration.

Spring Editorial: Full Bloom

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Samsoe & Samsoe shirtdress; Wood Wood jeans and shoes. All from Nouvelle Nouvelle.

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Priory jacket; KAAREM top; WU+SEN pants; Anniel shoes. All from Board of Trade.

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Rachel Comey top; Creatures of Comfort skirt; Kara tote; Vayarta shoes. All from One of a Few.

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RHOI top and pants; Clyde hat; Coclico shoes.

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HOW DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH PHOTOGRAPHY? I took some photography classes while I was majoring in graphic design in college. We only used film cameras in the class and I enjoyed it more than graphic design classes.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT? I love that it’s so spontaneous. I also love working with other people as a team and that every shoot is different.

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WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO PHOTOGRAPH? I’ve always really loved shooting people, but recently I’ve gotten really into shooting food and playing around with more object-based setups. It’s a nice change of pace and a completely different style of photography.

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HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PHOTOGRAPHY? I grew up in a small town on the Puget Sound outside of Seattle, Washington. My father is part Swedish and part Tlingit Haida, and when I was little he would be gone for months at a time fishing in the Bering Sea. My mother, sister and I would take photos and record VHS videos to send to him every couple weeks. In high school I had access to a darkroom, and became obsessed with experimenting with printing styles and tinkering with aesthetic. Today I still have a similar sentimentality with images, and in a way the documentation of my life for my dad continued into adulthood.

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