Me & My Wedding: Vows On A Boat & A Garden Party With Friends

From the proposal to the cake, the flowers to the dress, we love hearing what goes into making someone’s big day their own. If you’re after some inspiration, look no further – we’re shining a spotlight on some of the most stylish weddings out there. For Elise and Kyle, both their engagement and wedding took place during lockdown. Choosing to exchange their vows on the water in Salt Lake City, the couple also spent quality time in the lead up to the big day with close friends and family. Here, Elise tells us how they pulled it off…

The Engagement

Kyle had originally wanted to propose to me on a trip to Spain and Morocco in May, but after the flights were cancelled, he tried planning a trip to California – that didn’t happen either. Eventually, he decided to propose during a camping weekend with friends. One afternoon we all went for a hike and, after finding a perfect spot, he got down on one knee. I was really caught off guard but I said yes!

The Ring

We decided to create the ring together. We fell in love with a blue, teardrop diamond and had it set on a gold band with small diamonds complementing it. There was one small surprise: Kyle had asked my parents if he could have my late grandfather's ring, and he had it melted down to create the band. I designed Kyle's wedding ring. I wanted it to be something that could represent our future together, so I created a family crest and had it engraved on the front. 

The Planning

Because we got engaged during Covid, we decided to get on with getting married as soon as we could. We chose the 8th of August and planned the wedding knowing things would be constantly changing. We only invited as many people as we knew would be allowed and decided to hold the party in my parents’ backyard. Our family is from California originally, but Kyle and I met at school in Utah, and my parents have since moved to Cali too. Ultimately when it came down to it, we didn't want to postpone starting our life together – Covid was just the excuse we needed to have a small, intimate wedding.

The Day Before The Wedding

The evening before the wedding we turned the rehearsal dinner into our ring exchange ceremony. Because Kyle’s mother is Persian, and we wanted to honour that culture with the aim of keeping the tradition alive for our own family, we decided to have a traditional Persian ceremony in front of close family and friends. I walked down the aisle with both my parents to meet Kyle. We took part in old traditions and made new ones as we put our rings on our own fingers. We finished the evening with gorgeous Persian food and dancing. 

The Wedding Day

The next day Kyle and I, along with our parents, headed to the Salt Lake marina where I walked down the dock in my wedding dress for the ‘first look’. Our parents shared some marriage advice with us, then Kyle and I hopped on a sailboat to exchange vows and take photos. Afterwards, we headed to the Draper Temple where we were officially married. This special ceremony was only attended by our immediate family. We finished with a reception in my parents’ garden where family and friends were invited to dance and celebrate with us. It was the happiest day full of energy, joy and peace.

The Dress 

I was lucky enough to buy my wedding dress the day before the mandatory shutdown of businesses happened. I got it from The Perfect Dress bridal boutique and it was a Jesus Piero. I wanted it to be simple and timeless, and I fell in love with it the moment I put it on. The wide waistband and A-line skirt felt like it was made for me. I also wore a second dress from Shona Joy for our Persian ceremony the night before. The gown was silk and I loved the material almost as much as I loved the neckline and sleeves. I also designed a custom jumpsuit that Chantel Lauren Designs helped bring to life for me. I wore it for part of the reception and it was inspired by Mamma Mia, which myself and my sisters lip-synced to at the reception! Kyle wore a navy-blue suit from Hugo Boss.

The Accessories 

The veil for the Persian ceremony was a gift from my mother. We bought the material ourselves and made the veil together. The veil for my wedding day was a gift from my grandmother from Big Rock Bridal. My shoes were from Billini. They are a cute Australian brand, and it was hard to choose just one pair. My headband was also from Chantel Lauren, and my earrings were custom made from Borcik Jewelry. The rest of the jewellery that I wore on the night of the Persian ceremony was all gifts – it is tradition at the end of the ceremony that the women adorn the bride with jewellery. 

The Hair And Make-Up

I wanted to wear my hair up on my wedding day to highlight the amazing details of the high neck and bow on the back of my wedding dress. I wore my hair down on the evening before so that I could wear both styles during the wedding celebrations – the best of both worlds. I ended up doing my make-up myself, as I really just wanted to feel like ‘me’ on the day.

The Photographer

We loved our wedding photos so much. Our amazing photographer was Paige McKenzi and the videographer was Apecub Video.

The Flowers 

My mother did our flowers – she used to own a florist’s shop, so she did an amazing job. The palette was a mix of mauve, blues and navy, white and magenta. The flowers we chose were blue delphinium, white roses, white hydrangeas, gomphrena, white snapdragons, red ginger, amaranthus and fresh eucalyptus.

The Cake

Our cake was by Jessica at Lustr.Creative. We went for an orange olive oil cake with browned butter frosting. Jessica pressed flowers and herbs into a French meringue buttercream and highlighted those indentations with some edible gold dust. We were thrilled with the final result.

Advice For Others Getting Married During Covid…

Remember that the party isn't your main goal. The Covid rules and lockdown helped us realise this: the main goal is to get married! Make it about you and your spouse, make it about your love, and make sure everything you do serves a purpose. Take out old traditions that you don't like, honour the traditions you love, and make at least one new tradition together.

Photography by Paige McKenzi

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