A Country Wedding
Alyssa Milano and Hollywood agent David Bugliari told me they wanted a wedding that was far from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Their dream was something romantic and elegant with a rustic country feel, exactly the feeling evoked by the groom’s parent’s home in New Jersey. With incredibly green and lush grounds sprawling as far as the eye could see, David’s family home was ideal. It was easy to simply let nature take its course for this midsummer night’s affair.
As guests made their way to the ceremony they knew something special was planned. Not quite sure what to expect, they were transported to a place where the natural beauty of the surroundings took their breath away: an ethereal garden where it seemed as if time stood still. Up ahead, an aisle of cream-colored rose petals led the way through rows of fruitwood Chiavari chairs with eggplant-hued linen chair cushions to a wrought iron gazebo adorned with curly willow, viburnum, dahlias, Calla lilies and white roses. Sandalwood fans, printed with the couple’s logo and wedding date, were distributed in case the temperature rose on this August night. Guests were seated in comfort waiting for the bride and groom to exchange vows.
The ceremony began with music, drawing everyone’s attention. Beautiful bouquets of dahlias, viburnum and garden roses complemented the bridal party’s dresses of eggplant silk. Flowers girls dressed in cream with eggplant sashes carried baskets overflowing with rose petals as they made their way down the aisle followed by ring bearers carrying the rings in bird’s nests. The bride appeared in a gorgeous silk taffeta gown and made her way down the aisle carrying my favorite signature bouquet, Lily of the Valley.
After the ceremony, guests were directed to cocktails with rustic signs nailed to a tree. Weathered terra cotta pots filled with fragrant lavender, mint and rosemary infused the air. Bales of hay served as coffee tables and waiters passed ice cold drinks in mason jars and collected mismatched glassware. An antique buffet served as the bar and an old horse-drinking trough became the champagne and wine cooler.
Embracing our equestrian and rustic theme, the host cards were presented on a jute line attached with laundry pins. The inviting tent, a combination of luxe and rustic, was decorated with wrought iron chandeliers strung with strands of sparkling crystals. The floor of the tent had barn-like wood flooring and for dining, bare wooden farm tables were dressed with burlap runners trimmed with green and purple silk.
A series of round tables with jute linens had overlays in celadon and lilac trimmed with beading and punctuated with corresponding water goblets. Centerpieces of white and green roses, artichokes, antique green hydrangeas, Calla lilies, fiddlehead ferns, eucalyptus pods and viburnum arranged in short vessels packed the tables. These were anchored with metal curly willow trees accented with cream spray roses, lavender lisianthus, camellia leaves and jasmine to fill the taller vessels. Ambient lighting, created with projections of leaf patterns on the inside of the tent, left a warm, inviting glow.
Dinner was served family-style with the menu on blackboards displayed on easels and placed around the room in lieu of traditional printed menus. Guests helped themselves to either beef tenderloin or Branzino fish. To accompany the beef or fish was a selection of salads, rosemary-dusted potatoes and baskets of freshly baked breads. Drinks were offered to guests in jam jars, continuing the rustic theme. For dessert, sweets were passed among guests who mingled around the dance floor: espresso brownies with tiramisu milkshakes, mini cheesecake lollipops, macadamia nut ice cream sandwiches and limoncello lavender curd tartlets with fresh berries.
Later that evening after just the right amount of dancing, as if on cue, a pizza truck pulled up outside of the tent to fuel the party. Alongside, a Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck for those that needed something sweet to keep them going as the celebration continued late into the night.
My favorite part was watching the bride and groom dance with their family and friends, clearly having the best time of their lives.
See more images...