Design Within Reach

Real Wedding: Nada and Paul

Effortless glamour sums up the nuptials of Nada and Paul on the grounds of the bride's parents' home in Modesto, CA.

Though 175 guests gathered in the backyard to witness the couple exchange their vows, this was no casual affair. Whimsical? Yes. Playful? Sure. But this was hardly down-home or rustic.

With a vintage Ford parked in the driveway and a fantastic chandelier hanging from one of the property's 100-year-old trees, Nada and Paul (who both work in interior design) made sure to keep the wedding décor chic, but they also tossed a few inflatable swans into the pool in the backyard where the party took place. "We didn't want to take it too seriously," says Nada. "I wanted to create a romantic feeling but also a place where people could kick off their shoes and dance."

Even though the venue was a home, Nada paid a lot of attention to illuminating it just so. White lights were wrapped around century-old pecan trees. Groupings of paper lanterns were carefully placed around the lawn.

The juxtaposition between high fashion and simplicity was also apparent in Nada's attire. She wore Vera Wang, but she said her dress was "economical but looked expensive." She even chose the style for a unique reason. "I bought this dress based on the necklace. That necklace made my dress!" Nada proudly recalls that her retro, Gatsby-era-esque veil cost about $20: "Since it was a backyard wedding, I wanted to keep the veil simple and not have anything I could trip on."

Of course, Nada and Paul always were able to fall back on their design know-how and well-honed aesthetic in planning the affair. So, some elements were carefully thought out. Nada designed the celadon green and grey invitations, menus and escort cards. Others were last minute: "The ceremony décor was really thrown together that morning. We got olive trees and tied ribbons to the branches."

Lighting was another aspect of the wedding that was memorable to all.Even though the venue was a home, Nada paid a lot of attention to illuminating it just so. White lights were wrapped around century-old pecan trees. Groupings of paper lanterns were carefully placed around the lawn. Even sparklers were passed out to guests before the cutting of the cake (a white-on-white fondant confection made of one layer of chocolate cake, one layer of vanilla and a top of carrot cake saved for the couple's first anniversary). The intent, says Nada: "We wanted a feeling where someone else could fall in love there too."

 
 
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