Chris and Alysha wanted to bring the romance of Italy to their Salt Lake City wedding and with one look at the images by Isabel Johansen... I say mission accomplished. They used simple, organic elements as the foundation of their design and brought on with Amber Reverie to work her floral magic. Prepare to be whisked away to a wedding you'd swear was set in Rome and find even more in the gallery. From the Bride... Chris and I met 11 years ago. After having dated for so long, our wedding was not just a special event for us, but also for our families that had long awaited for this day to happen. My husband Chris remembers while he was waiting for me to walk down the isle how many people were emotional.This particular day was also special because it was the only day that was available and would work during the summer for the two venues we wanted, and it so happened to be Chris's parents' anniversary day as well. I think it was almost fate because in a way we’re following in their footsteps. From the way Chris and I met which was the same way his parents met- at a party where Chris was playing the guitar and singing. And now by pure chance, we get married on the same date, 40+ years later. What’s more, the wedding ring we got for Chris looks almost identical to his dad’s original wedding ring, which he had lost years ago and Chris had never seen.The weather and temperature couldn’t have been any more perfect for our beautiful outdoor wedding. We both love nature and being in the outdoors, so having the wedding outside was important to us (thank goodness Mother Nature decided to cooperate). That’s why we chose the Montage Resort up in the mountains of Park City, it provided a gorgeous backdrop for our ceremony. Then being outside in the courtyard of the luxurious Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City for the reception was magical. Going along with natural and outdoor inspiration, I wanted to make sure that our floral arrangements had an organic and natural feel. Our florist did an amazing job of doing that, from the loosely shaped/arranged bouquets, the naturally draping ceremony arch, the greenery running down the center of the tables at the reception, to the Italian Ruscus sprigs adorning each table setting.A few years ago Chris and I visited Italy and fell in love with it. I mean who wouldn't, right? Well, while I started planning for the wedding and looking through a lot of Pinterest boards I found myself pinning a lot of Italian inspired weddings. There's just something very romantic and elegant, yet simple and organic about Italian inspired weddings. So we agreed to incorporate some Italian inspirations to our wedding, such as: Italian themed invitation suite, Rosemary salt party favors with "Grazie" tags (which means "Thank you" in Italian), lots of Italian Ruscus used in floral arrangements, and the hotel courtyard where we had the reception felt like we were somewhere in Rome.We wanted our guests to have a memorable experience, so we did some of the traditional things but also mixed in some things that were a little more unique and fun. For example, I chose to have both my mom and dad walk me down the isle, I felt like it was more special that way. Instead of doing wedding vows, I wanted to do something that was romantic and symbolic of our new journey as husband and wife, so I surprised Chris with a dove release right after we said our “I dos”. Doves symbolize love, peace, happiness, and prosperity. For entertainment, we had a String Quintet playing all the way through the First Dance, after which we had fun singing karaoke and dancing to dance video games. Chris is in a band called All Hope Contained where he is the lead singer. His fellow band member, Robbie, was the Best Man, and my sister-in-law Heidi was the Maid of Honor.I'm so lucky to have several talented family members that helped me with the DIY aspects of our wedding. One of my very talented sister-in-laws did all the calligraphy and made all the signs. Another sister-in-law did my hair and makeup. My mother-in-law added sleeves to my beautiful Pronovias dress. My husband Chris is an artist and painted all the insides of the envelopes with an Italian landscape. My parents helped me make the party favors. I made the menus. It was so fun having family help.Our wedding was a dream come true. I loved everything about it. The only thing I would've done differently and the advice I would give a bride is to hire a wedding planner, it possible. Even though I would've still probably been very involved in all the details and decision-making (because that's my personality), it would've been nice to have somebody that could help me keep track of everything and coordinate with the vendors as well as keep me more at ease the day of the wedding knowing that someone is in charge of overseeing everything.
Photography: Johansen | Floral Design: Amber Reverie | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vow To Be Chic | Hair and Makeup: Heidi Johansen | Calligraphy: Sonja Natalia | Suit: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Attire: Menguin | Hotel: The Grand America | Bridal Shop: Mary's Bridal | Doves: White Dove Release Utah | Photo Lab: The Find Lab | Resort: Montage Beverly Hills | Ribbons: Silk & Willow | String Quintet: String Love | Wedding Cake and Catering: Grand America Hotel | Wedding Dress Designer: Pronovias