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Jennifer and Tim

Jennifer O'Donnell party

When Jennifer started planning her November 2010 wedding to Tim, she found two dresses at a store in Philadelphia (the couple wed in Pennsylvania) she loved, but a year before the wedding she learned that both choices had been discontinued. Not to be deterred, she sought out “the best bridal salon in Atlanta,” where she lived. “I found Bridals by Lori and made an appointment and the rest is history!” Jennifer says.

With Flori’s assistance, Jennifer chose five gowns she liked and made a second appointment to return with her mother and one of her maids of honor. “I wanted lots of beading and detail and a good style line for my body, plus a chapel-length train,” she says. She found it in a design by Amalia Carrara. “What sealed it was the total overall look with the matching veil, which was cathedral length with lots of embroidery and beading along the edges,” Jennifer says. “I love the line of the dress with the big skirt and the vintage detail of the mantilla-shaped veil. It was very dramatic but elegant – exactly what I wanted.”

Drama and elegance turned out to be the theme for Jennifer and Tim’s wedding. First, the elegance: The couple wed at Riverview Presbyterian Church in Drexel Hill, Penn., where her father is the minister (he performed the ceremony!). They moved on to The Radnor Hotel in Wayne for the reception. “We wanted a formal, sit-down reception with four-star service,” Jennifer says. “We wanted our guests to be pampered and a lot of options and extras along with an elegant environment. The Radnor Hotel offered everything we wanted.”

Next, the drama: Jennifer designed the tea-length bridesmaids’ dresses (plus patterned and sewed three of them!), which were inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s wedding dress in Funny Face. Each bridesmaid, including the junior bridesmaid, ordered a custom crinoline in the colors of their choice for under their dress. This splash of unexpected color was just the first of many fun, yet dramatic moments.

Another came when Jennifer walked down the aisle. “The whole day was amazingly perfect, but my favorite wedding memory was walking into the church getting ready to proceed down the aisle and seeing Tim waiting for me,” she says. “I was so overjoyed at marrying him that apparently I laughed with joy all the way down the aisle. It’s in the video and I don’t really remember laughing, but I know I was smiling so much that my face was tired later.” This is Tim’s favorite wedding memory as well. “He says he can’t describe why because it’s impossible to put into words,” Jennifer says.

Jennifer saved one more moment of drama for the reception. “The bouquet toss was hilarious because I did something completely different,” she says. “I didn’t toss the bouquet. Instead, I turned and ran to my maid of honor and handed it to her, but I almost landed on my face because I slid the last couple feet since the dance floor was slippery. It was caught on video, too, and was pretty funny. I hadn’t told anyone I was going to hand the bouquet to my maid of honor so everyone was pretty surprised.”

Now that the big day has come and gone, Jennifer says one thing remains: “How absolutely happy and joyful I was the whole day,” she says. “I couldn’t have asked for it to be any better.”

  • WEDDING GOWN Amalia Carrara
  • SHOES Marciano
  • BRACELET Regina B
  • TUXEDOS Calvin Klein
  • PHOTOGRAPHY Casual Candids
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