Scholarship Entry: Nerissa Montermurro from Private Receptions

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's summer solstice, friends & family arrive together in classic trolleys to a quaint manor nestled in a vineyard valley with picturesque mountains and sunbeams creating amber tones across the sky. Passing through a sculpture garden guests are greeted with fresh watermelon martinis in short stem glasses with a star shaped watermelon wedge delicately position on top on the rim. Hundreds of clear crystal wind chimes are hanging on tree branches that create a canopy walkway lightly blowing in the wind. Guests are escorted to a field where glamorous antique chairs in bright colors, metallic tones, and various grades of wood are positioned in a semi circle rows.

The female cocktail staff collects the unfinished martinis as guests take their seats. These servers are dressed in short length rosewater dresses styling the signature wraps from “Butter By Nadia”. The male wait staff are wearing white button down shirts with apple green ties and khaki pants.

The Groom is dressed in a pin stripe gray suit, white shirt and a solid watermelon colored tie. Attached to his lapel is a mini white calla lily. As the bride appears the “Trio Sonato” is played by guitar and violin. The bride is wearing an Oscar de la Renta Windsor blue silk taffeta backless gown with ivory guipure overlay and a birdcage veil with watermelon, high heels made by Christian Louboutin.

The Ceremony is short. There is no bridal party and the Officiant is a dear friend that guides the couple in reciting their own vows under a golden sunset. Capturing the Moment on high speed video and a Super 8 camera will capture a modern yet vintage effect giving the video a timeless appeal.

The Cocktail hour is a short walk up to the ranch where elements of the indoor and outdoor meet again. Except this time it’s less vintage with a hint of French country chic. Before entering the area guests are photographed in front of a “step and repeat” that showcases the couples monogrammed Initials. The sounds of Funky Acid Jazz excite guests and even a few start to dance while others mingle. Several lounge areas have seating exclusively designed by Andre Ricci showcasing white Italian leather intricate rolled armed sofa with Swarovski bling tufting & bubble style legs. Propped on the sofas are light chocolate cowhide throw pillows.

Perfectly placed wheat grass and small cabbage arrangements in rectangular honey colored resin containers with scattered tea lights are situated on oversized tree stump coffee tables. Special lighting is placed so that amber tones wash over the cocktail area which contrasts with the evening sky as the stars touch the mountain tops. The photography staff hand delivers the glamourous posed portriats and on the back of each photo is a table number. (The photos are not only a take away but also serve as the the escort card).

As the cocktail hour ends, the aroma of home-style cooking and comfort food lures guests inside to open room with rafters. The back walls are covered in rustic wood and earth tone textured wall paper giving the interior a cosmopolitan farm appeal. An extra large crystal chandelier wrapped with a sheer white lamp shade hangs over the dance floor area. One long wall (where the guests entered) are several rows of French doors that are propped open with breath taking views of the landscape.

Long classroom style tables are arranged in a “U” shape around the dance floor. The distressed wooden tables have no linens, rather a long French lace runner where a sea of light from varying heights of tapered candles and candelabras rest. Under the tables are oriental carpets adding a rich look to worn wooden flooring. There is an eclectic mix and match of china place settings that give the tables a chic home-style feel that both your grandmother and best friend would love. On the clear resin chiavari chairs lays ice blue velvet cushions with recyclable melon totes, folded in 3’s with a hand written white hang tag that reads…

“Making an impact from our plate to the planet we've made a donation on your behalf to the Slow Food foundation. Eat, drink and be merry.”

Throughout the evening tunes from Urban Guerilla Orchestra take this reception from fun to unforgettable! Their music is hip, versatile, sophisticated and energy packed for all generations. As the evening progresses guests enjoy tasting size portions of a variety of culinary delights and mini dessert bar. The night ends with colorful display of fireworks and lifetime of memories.

Rosemarie Lion Photography,Photo credit: Wellwed Hamptons, Photo credit: Shelton Vineyards,Black Forest Décor,Signature Event Rentals, Favor Ideas BLOG,,Photo credit: Brad Perks, Photo credit: Camp Four Vineyard- Fess Parker website, Photo credit: Inge Fernau, Photo credit:
Halberg Photographers, Niagara Wedding Photographers, Stec Photographers
Delaney Todd Bagwell
, Green Union, Photo credit: Justin Bernhaut, Billy Reid Décor
photo credit: Justin Bernhaut, Colin Cowie Images, Occasions Caterers Image


Karen said...

It is nice to bring the classic vintage look to the wedding. Everything was very well thought through. There must be many photo moments to this wedding. I love the photos from the wedding, very nicely done.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your supportive feedback! Much appreciated :)

Laurms15 said...

I think this is a fantastic idea! I really love how the inspiration board tells the story. I think the juxtaposition of the distressed wood and mismatched china with the lace and crystal chandeliers really adds visual interest. I think the casual atmosphere will allow guests to feel relaxed. I think the idea of using the portraits for the name cards is a fun idea, but my favorite detail is between the chandelier and the brides watermelon CL shoes!

Rachel said...

The story is wonderful and really goes great with the pictures! The details in the story is very well thought out and it is easy to picture this beautiful wedding!

Lindsey said...

When I get married this is exactly what I want. With me obsessing over vintage style with a modern twist and my boyfriend loving the outdoors, this would be the perfect medium. The color combination is perfect too, I like the subtleness of the gray and green and then the pop of watermelon makes a statement. Once I get that ring on my finger, I'm calling Private Receptions!

Roey.yohai said...

fantastic Nerissa! sounds exquisite and i agree it would make for great photos...i'd love to shoot it! ;)
also the donation to Slow Food is a great great addition, they do amazing work around the world to keep disappearing food traditions alive and are an amazing fair-food organization...bravo!

very well done!!!


Jazz Tyrril-Smart said...

Your vision board is so warm and inviting! Good Luck

Miss Mad said...

The vision created here is so crystal clear and so gorgeous. The details on their own are stunning; together they set a stage that would work beautifully for both the bride and groom, and would be a wedding guests would surely remember for years to come. I love the cosmopolitan farm phrase used; that seems to sum up this vision perfectly. It is rustic chic, urban bohemian - beautiful!

Anonymous said...

This is insanely beautiful and unique. Wow, it's making me wish I had had a different wedding!! I love the simplicity of it--no bridal party, the rustic seating--but also the incredible elegance... this is gorgeous!!!!

Rebecca Leigh said...

Your concept captures the sensibilities of both the chic, urban bride and the rustic groom to perfection. I adore the modern Jane Austen details from the crystal chandeliers and antique tapestry chairs with the right touch of graphic blue pop, to the bright watermelon cocktails, and elegant but accessible mix of the china patterns. Simply lovely and imaginative!

-Rebecca, Wedding and Event Designer

stephaniewhittingham said...

What a fabulous idea! I love the vintage feel with modern twist. The photo escort cards is such a fun and creative idea, the chairs and mixed china will add beautiful pops of color, and I adore the invitations! :)

Mark said...

I love it! It's like country chic! I think the view of scenery....with the rustic table and chandeliers above it just says it all. I really could see his family and friends loving the simplicity and natural beauty while her family/friends would appreciate the style and elegance. The colors are also a beautiful compliment to the outdoor setting and the theme (ie calm country meets city chic aka gray/green meets watermelon)!

posted on behalf of andrea davis

Robin said...


What beautiful ideas for a wedding. I loved how someone can picture this perfect day with your detailed description of the wedding.

Great job, and good luck!

Jen Bou said...

Incredible. Trusting Nerissa and Private Receptions with the first day of the beginning of married can you go wrong? It's just smart.

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