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An At-Home Wedding That Puts "Father of the Bride" to Shame

Melissa Baran

Today's at-home celebration has a woodland-chic, enchanted forest vibe layered with loads of charm. The Bride, Melissa (who grew up at this beautiful estate) and her Groom, Dave, recruited the help of Sarah Kazemburg Events + Styling to create a gorgeous experience from the ceremony beneath a canopy of trees to the poolside cocktail hour to the clear-top tented reception. It's backyard done oh-so-right and Lisa Ziesing for Abby Jiu Photography made sure that no moment went undocumented. A few words from Sarah Kazemburg Events + Styling... Melissa and Dave first met as law students at NYU. They began as friends in the same study group and flag football team, and so the courtship began. Melissa knew nothing about football, but according to Dave, by the third season she “transformed into an elite edge pass rusher and productive check-down receiver”. After they began dating their third year of law school, Dave landed a job and moved across the country to California. They continued their relationship long distance for a year until Melissa moved out to San Francisco to join him. He proposed to Melissa in a little cabin in the woods on the Mendocino Coast.Their wedding took place at Melissa’s family home where she grew up in Bethesda, MD. We curated their design to compliment the property’s beautiful grounds, architecture and sprawling gardens. An elegant, woodland-chic, enchanted forest vibe perfectly fit the bill. Emily Baird designed their custom invitation suite featuring a wood backed invitation card and custom watercolor envelope liner in the wedding colors. We loved the idea of a brown envelope to juxtapose the feminine floral liner, and also being that brown is such a prominent color around the home property. They opted for a small wedding party, with Melissa’s two brothers serving as her “bridesmen” and Dave’s brother as his best man. Their ceremony was officiated by their law school classmate and mutual friend Nick, in an intimate garden on the property enclosed by trees and hedges. Melissa and Dave read their vows to each other underneath a birch wood chuppah designed by Sweet Root Village featuring a lush, asymmetrical cascade of flowers. We utilized the home’s entire back yard for cocktail hour, spacing out the bars, cocktail tables and food stations throughout the patio and pool areas (made complete by floating pool flowers!). Apple Cider Margaritas were served as the signature cocktail, which was perfect for a chilly fall evening. Guests were encouraged to “make themselves at home” finding their seating assignments displayed in little wooden house cardholders with calligraphy by Stephanie B Design.Incorporating home accents into the table scapes was a fun way to create a residential atmosphere inside the reception tent. We added a bump-out section to serve as an extra room, which featured a stylish lounge vignette and a statement chevron bar with a custom neon sign attached to the bar backdrop. Three giant, magical wreaths of greenery were installed by Sweet Root Village across the top of the clear-top tent. We mixed farm tables with traditional rounds, compote centerpieces with collection styles, and varied marble and glass base plates to keep the design interesting and fun, while still maintaining a cohesive look.Melissa and Dave shared their first dance to “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young, and later in the night Nation performed an epic cover of “Satisfied” from Hamilton for their cutting of the cake!

Photography: Abby Jiu Photography | Videographer: Just Hitched Wedding Films | Florist: Sweet Root Village | Wedding Dress: Alyssa Kristin | Wedding Cake: Fancy Cakes By Leslie | Stationery: Emily Baird Design | Catering: Rouge Fine Catering | Hair & Makeup: Caitlyn Meyer | Calligraphy: Stephanie B Design | Band: Elan Artists | Tent: Loane Brothers | Custom Neon sign: Brite Lite Tribe | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photo Booth: Pixilated | Planning and Design: Sarah Kazemburg Events + Styling | Popcorn Truck: stella's popcorn | Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals | Silent Disco: Dreamland Slient Disco | Tabletop Rentals: Select Event Group | Tent Floor: A Grand Event | Valet: MJ Valet