A Nicole Miller Dress For an Elegant Garden Party Wedding

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Good morning lovelies. We’re jetting off across the pond today for an absolutely gorgeous wedding in the conservation area of Blackhawk in Idaho. Set in a mountain and lake town, the Blackhawk on the River community is laid back and inviting, with lots to do. It’s perfect for an activity filled wedding.

The bride and groom, Lisa and Jesse, who both work in advertising, also chose this spot because Lisa’s parents are retiring there so they’ve visited often. They knew that they could create the day they wanted with the help of Bliss EventsTerra Lange Photography was behind the lens, taking these stunning images.

“We wanted the day to feel comfortable and like ‘us’. We loved that it was outdoors and felt like an elegant garden party (Downton Abbey style) where people could pick up sun umbrellas, drinks, and be at ease. We had a few other wedding events throughout the week including a BBQ, a lake cruise, yoga at the lodge and fishing excursions. We semi-joked that it was like a ‘Wedding Camp’.”

Photography by Terra Lange

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Lisa found her Nicole Miller dress at The English Department, a small bridal boutique in Portland. She added beautifully delicate sleeves, only adding to the romantic feel of the dress.

“I added the chiffon drop sleeves to make the dress feel more ‘my own’. I fell in love with the modern lace pattern and had my mom make a ring pillow using the extra fabric. I loved that it moved easily, and I could hug and dance all day in it. The long train reminded me of my grandmother’s dress, which I’ve admired since I was little.”

“Jesse and I met at work about six years ago. He’d stop by my desk every day for months straight. Very quickly, his visits became the highlight of my day, and we went on our first date to a Portland food truck. We shared brown-bagged beers and grilled cheese sandwiches at a park overlooking the city. We both remember it being the perfect day. At the wedding, we had a late night grilled cheese bar where people could customise their sandwiches to replicate that first date. We were engaged for about 18 months before the wedding.”

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The bride paired her dress with a veil and headpiece, both from Twigs & Honey and a gorgeous pair of Badgley Mischka shoes with crystal detail.

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The flower girls wore gorgeous dresses from Amazon and the page boy looks adorable in his outfit from Target.

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“All the groomsmen wore custom bow ties by Mill City Fineries. Jesse picked out a uniquely sourced fabric for each of his seven groomsmen and himself. Mill City is from Jesse’s home state of Minnesota, making it an extra special connection. Their navy suits were rented from Generation Tux.”

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Along with his colourful custom bow tie, the groom wore a smart blue Ted Baker suit.

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Flowers At Will did a fabulous job with the bouquets and floral arrangements, including a gorgeous flower collar for their dog.

“I wanted the flowers to be bright and add a splash of colour to the otherwise very green setting. They were bold yet soft and featured favourites like peonies, dahlias, and Austin roses.”

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“My bridesmaids all picked their own dresses. They all live in different states so I gave them a colour range and length, for them to choose their own from there. I loved that they were all a bit different – it added texture and dimension to the photos.”

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“My dad walked me down the aisle to an instrumental version of ‘God Only Knows’ by The Beach Boys. He cried the entire walk down. I’ll never forget it.”

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“My dearest family friend and mentor, Barbara Carey, married us. It was so special and personal to have her guiding us through the process. We each wrote our own vows. We talked about the approach beforehand, but didn’t share our words until that day. They were both genuine and sweet and will be something we both treasure and revisit. We chose ‘Blessing of the Hands’ and ‘The One’ as readings. They both connected to us and the spirit of our commitment to one another.”

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A setting as beautiful as Blackhawk needed a photographer who loves the outdoors. Lisa and Jesse chose Terra Lange Photography who is used to capturing couples up mountains and deep in the forest. I love how these images draw your eye to the couple within a frame of the beauty around them. They also hired Your Story by Max to film the day.

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Kelsey Malie Calligraphy made our Quaker style guest book and our day-of paper and invitations were by Paperie + Pen. They customized everything based on the ‘garden party’ vibe we wanted. We also created a Snapchat filter to match invitations.”

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“Our caterers Horsewood were amazing. They grew a garden plot just for our wedding and even sourced special ingredients from Minnesota like hand-harvested wild rice.”

“We brought in table linens, market umbrellas, and used West Elm frames for all our signage. The most special piece was the arbor. It was built by Jesse’s stepdad and featured a custom, hand painted design on the inside by Jesse’s mom with our names and the date. We plan to use the arbor in our future backyard.”

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“We bought our very favourite honey from our local Farmer’s Market and packaged it in small lidded jars, which doubled as favours and place seating markers.”

“We also added a fishing fly that could be used to catch trout in the Payette river behind the ceremony. The jars caught the sunlight in such a pretty way that day, they were golden and glowing.”

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“We chose ‘You Are the Best Thing’ by Ray LaMontagne as our first dance. It’s the first song Jesse ever sang to me, and I’ve loved it ever since. We see Ray whenever he’s in Portland.”

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“There were so many perfect moments, that we’ll never forget. Jesse has an amazing voice and serenaded me with ‘At Last’, during the ceremony. I was really nervous about the moment, but it felt like he was singing just to me and was one of the best parts of the day.”

“My bridesmaids gave the most perfect speech that had me laughing and crying. At the end of the night, the venue needed the sound to go off, so they cut off ‘Sweet Caroline’ mid song. All of our guests were circled around us and finished the verses acapella. It felt like we were floating. There were so many sweet moments throughout the day and it truly was such a happy, special blur.”

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Focus on the ceremony and making it meaningful. The rest are just details and people will forgive (or not notice) the silverware not matching the plates or a long bar line. If people feel the love and meaning behind what they’re sharing that day, it’s going to be a very happy, memorable celebration.”

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Huge thanks and congratulations to Lisa and Jesse, and also to Terra Lange for the wonderful images. If you’re thinking of a US wedding, do check our archives for some more inspiration.

Love Caoimhe xx

Credits & Thanks

Caoimhe Anderson

Caoimhe Anderson View all Caoimhe's articles

Caoimhe will never tire of beautiful wedding dress and a blooming flower crown. When she's not lusting after a gorgeous wedding she will be trying new vegetarian recipes, knitting very slowly or capturing a pink sunset from behind a camera lens.

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