Nearly two months ago, I married the love of my life and embarked on what I consider to be the best chapter of my life! We were extremely blessed to share our love for each other with our family and closest friends. Set against the gorgeous, magical backdrop of Winterthur Museum & Gardens, my (now) husband and I exchanged our vows. In today’s blog post, I’d love to share my dream day with you, complete with pictures and video! (Hint: my picture albums are only accessible until 7/31/19, so take a look before it's too late!) Okay, let’s get started!
This spring Sunday, May 19th, was an absolute dream from start to finish. The weather was gorgeous: a calm 82 degrees on a sunny day with pretty, fluffy clouds all throughout. A gorgeous wedding set in this historic American antiquity was all that a bride could ask for. Our wedding was certainly an affair to remember if I do say so myself! ? (And, might I add that our wedding date happens to coincide with the wedding/anniversary date of The Duke & Duchess of Sussex, Harry & Meghan – and believe me, the date was a complete coincidence!).
Before I walk you through my wedding day, I’d like to introduce you to our wedding venue, Winterthur Museum & Gardens, which is the historic DuPont family estate in Delaware. In the months leading up to our big day, when talking about the wedding prep with family and friends, I was often asked, “What/where is Winterthur” and “How did you find it?” Here’s more about this beautiful estate!
What/Where is Winterthur?
To fully appreciate the experience that our wedding venue, Winterthur, offered I'd like to share a bit of its enchanting history with you… (And by the way, it’s pronounced Win-ter-ter).
Winterthur Estate is nestled in the heart of Delaware's picturesque Brandywine Valley. Winterthur Museum & Gardens stand a world apart – a place where history lives on in spectacular gardens, romantic landscapes, and a breathtaking mansion filled with magnificent American antiques.
Jacques and Evelina du Pont Bidermann built the first house on the grounds in 1839 and named it after Mr. Bidermann's ancestral home in Switzerland – Winterthur. Bequeathed to their son, Henry Francis du Pont, the 175-room house remains a rare national treasure, where beauty, art, and history combine. One of America's great country estates, Winterthur opened to the public in 1951.
Set amidst nearly 1,000 acres of rolling pasture, the Reflecting Pool in the mansion’s garden was the ideal locale for our wedding ceremony. More info about the Reflecting Pool is below!
How Did I Find Winterthur?
For probably about ten years or so, I’ve been an avid patron of Winterthur Museum & Gardens. In years past, I’ve taken my mother to visit for Mother’s Day or I would go on day trips just to explore – there's so much to see and the grounds are absolutely beautiful! So, when it was time to choose our wedding venue, Winterthur immediately came to mind.
When I first considered Winterthur, I actually wasn’t even sure whether they even held weddings there, but I soon found that they did! My (then) fiancé and I booked an appointment right away because we were only about ten months away from our wedding date. It was equally as important for me to show him the estate as soon as possible because at the time we were prepping to relocate to Dallas. Speaking of which, we did also consider the Dallas Arboretum (which was also very nice), but in no way could compare to the splendor and romance of Winterthur. Winterthur was a no-brainer for sure!
Our Magical Wedding at Winterthur
On the morning of Sun, May 19th, I was ready for my big day! I woke up around 6 a.m. and I was playing the entire day out in my thoughts as I prepped my wedding suite for all of the activity to come. It was so nice to have a couple of hours to myself, so I could reflect on the journey that my husband-to-be and I took to get to this happy place.
I got to spend some one-on-one time with my mother and best friend before my makeup artist, wedding planner, photographer, and videographer arrived later that morning. And of course, we had some bubbly Prosecco on deck as we all got dressed and made up!
Click on the pic below to view more “Getting Ready” pics!
For my wedding, I decided to have a first look with both my father outside of our hotel (Hotel DuPont) and then at the Winterthur mansion with my fiancé, Michael, a little while before our nuptials. While I knew I definitely wanted to have a first look with my dad, for weeks I wavered back and forth about whether I should have one with Michael. In the end, we agreed that our nerves would be a bit calmer at the ceremony if we did indeed share a first look. (Not going to lie, I still was very emotional during the procession even after the first look, LOL). Nonetheless, both first looks were very tender moments and I’m so glad that we did it!
There are great shots that my photographer captured of these moments.
Click on the pic below to view more “First Look” pics!
Wedding at Winterthur
Upon arrival to Winterthur, a champagne welcome awaited our guests before boarding a private shuttle that transported them to the Reflecting Pool. What was even more lovely is that since our wedding took place after the museum closed, our guests had full, private access to the entire estate.
Now, onto the Reflecting Pool – my favorite spot at the estate! I'd say that enchantment best describes the Reflecting Pool. Originally used as Mr. DuPont’s swimming pool, it then became the site of the first wedding held for his daughter, Pauline Louise DuPont.
Tying the past and the present, our wedding ceremony was held at the Reflecting Pool, the perfect romantic backdrop for us to express our eternal love for each other.
Our guests were seated by 6:30 p.m. and the wedding was about to start! The bridal procession was led by my ultimate best friend and beautiful maid of honor, Jessica, who was then followed by my super cute nephew, Oliver (he looked so handsome in his little suit!) and his beautiful sister/my niece, Rose. Be sure to check out their pics below! They all processed to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, which is a traditional wedding musical piece.
Then finally, it was my turn! Escorted by my father, I descended the garden's grand staircase onto the lush poolside area. I processed to one of my most favorite classical pieces, The Flower Duet by Leo Delibes. As a former violinist that has a deep passion for classical music, there are only a handful of pieces that truly touch my soul. The Flower Duet is certainly one of them and it was always my dream to process to this song on my wedding day. It's so lovely and romantic – just perfect for our day! My dream came to life by having the Philadelphia String Quartet perform this piece at our wedding. PSQ also performed an assortment of classics before, during, and after the ceremony. They are soooo talented!
As my dad and I processed, my soon-to-be husband, Michael, anxiously awaited my arrival at the altar.
Wedding Ceremony & Cocktail Hour
The ceremony was just a dream! Our altar was at the top of the reflecting pool and an array of white rose petal art decorated the area where we stood. Our ceremony included Bible readings read by my husband’s son and my maid of honor, a moment of remembrance for those no longer with us, guest vows (yes, guest vows!), a unity candle lighting ceremony that included all of our guests (each had their own candle!), ring ceremony, and of course our vows. There were quite a few other elements included in the ceremony but those were the main highlights!
The nuptials drew to a close as we were presented as husband and wife. Our guests applauded us as we recessed to the traditional Mendelssohn's Wedding March. This moment was totally surreal for us! I still get goosebumps thinking about it. ?
As Michael and I went off for our portraits (and some private moments to ourselves), the cocktail party started! Our guests were treated to specialty cocktails and gourmet hors d'oeuvres. They enjoyed the warm evening sunset, sweeping views of the pool, mansion lawn, and nearby koi pond. And of course, fantastic music from PSQ as they switched from their classical strings to lighted electric violins! They brought out all the pop tunes and had a surprise treat for us all as well! It so happens that our wedding fell on the same evening as the Games of Thrones series finale. Yep! As such, PSQ also performed the GoT theme song at the cocktail hour – at least we got a little something! And as dusk fell, even the frogs started to sing!
Shortly before the reception started, we got to take some awesome family portraits – I’m so happy that this was all captured!
Click on the pic below to view more wedding, ceremony, cocktail hour, and family portrait pics!
Dinner, Dancing & Wedding Send-Off!
Dinner followed in Winterthur’s Atrium, where we all enjoyed the culinary creations of world-renowned chefs (who also create delights for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and more!). The chefs used fresh, locally-sourced ingredients to stimulate our palates – we had food, food, and more food! Take a peek at our menu in the pics!
An evening of dancing was kicked off by our grand entrance and first dance. Michael and I danced to Paul Anka’s Put Your Head on My Shoulder (my pick – I absolutely love this song; my mom used to play it all the time when I was very young!). And then I had the pleasure of dancing with my Dad – we danced to Nat King Cole’s Unforgettable, featuring his daughter, Natalie Cole. Throughout the night DJ kept the party going with great party song selections, with occasional pauses for speeches and, of course, our cake cutting!
At the evening's close, we were sent off with a sparkler tribute to Pharell’s Happy. And, indeed, we totally were!
Click on the pic below to view more reception pics!
Wedding Video Highlight
To memorialize our wedding day, we engaged Rose Candy Cinema as our videographer and we have no regrets! Here’s a beautiful one-minute highlight that gives us a taste of what our full cinematic-style film will look like. (We can't wait to get the final cut!). And here's a cool fact – on July 5th, our wedding highlights were featured as Video of the Day by the international World Event Videographers Association – congrats to Rose Candy! Check out our wedding teaser video below…
The Day After
The day after our wedding we said our goodbyes to our friends and family and flew back to Dallas. We were in Dallas for only a little over 24 hours – we used that time to unpack and repack for our two-week honeymoon at the Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy. That was a DREAM and I’ll be sure to share our awesome vacation in a future blog post! 😉 But here's a teaser in the meantime… ?
I hope you enjoyed this inside look of my wedding day. It felt so good to recall these special memories for you – I literally play every precious moment over and over again in my head. And I’m very much still in my honeymoon phase. ???
Thanks for reading and please share your thoughts or questions in the comment section below!
A Very Special Thanks to…
And here’s a sincere thanks to our vendors that made this all come together so beautifully and flawlessly.
Shauné Hayes – my #1 favorite makeup artist – thank you for making me feel so beautiful that day! I've worked with Shauné for several years for my business photo shoots and television appearances – her makeup artistry is unmatched and she is an absolute dream to work with.
Kerry Harrison Photography – Kerry is a phenomenal photographer who beautifully captured the essence of every key moment of our beautiful day! Kerry shot our engagement photos and our entire wedding day. We love her photography style ad she was such a pleasure to work with. Most of all, we love her photographs that grace this blog post.
Rose Candy Cinema – Jason Belkov has done a fantastic job at also capturing the best and touching moments of our wedding day in a cinematic film. He is truly talented and we were so lucky to have him film our rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, and reception. Job well done!
Philadelphia String Quartet – This string music group is truly among the best that I've worked with! From the thoughtful musical direction that stemmed from our preferences to weaving together a beautiful program that flowed seamlessly with our ceremony and reception, PSQ took the cake! It was truly a memorable music experience for all of us!
East Coast Entertainment – Mitch Greenberg from ECE rocked the house as the DJ and Emceé for our reception. He provided a nice mix of old and new so there was a little bit of something for everyone!
Fresh Designs Flora & Events – Fresh Designs totally nailed the aesthetic we wanted for our wedding from the bridal bouquets to the rose petal art at our altar. Everything was just so gorgeous!
Desserts by Dana – Our wedding cake was designed and created by the winner of Cake Boss and celebrity chef, Dana Hubert. We wanted a simple, elegant, yet delicious cake and Chef Dana delivered!
A Paper Affair – Based in Dallas, A Paper Affair was my go-to for wedding invitations, thank you cards, and menu printing. Their professional staff is both friendly and patient – they took great care of us when making the most important selections for our big day.
Kyle Michelle Weddings (Wedding Planner) – Thanks to Kristin Phalins who pulled everything together for our big day at Winterthur. She helped with all of the planning, managing vendors, kept things on a tight timeline, and helped us have a smooth wedding day!
Hotel DuPont – This twelve-story Italian Renaissance building and architectural icon in Wilmington, DE hosted us, our guests, and our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. The five-star accommodations were a perfect complement to our once-in-a-lifetime wedding.
Roxanne Carne is a recognized Personal Stylist & Personal Shopper styling women in Dallas, TX and virtually! Visit www.roxannecarne.com to discover how she can help transform your wardrobe and transform your life!