Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1

Thousands of real-wedding photos have crossed our desks in the past year. These are our favorites.

Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1
Jacqueline and Lachlan in Atlanta, GA
This couple took their wedding d├ęcor to new levels of innovation with a “chandelier” of yellow tulips and glass votives that hung above a family-style reception table, escort cards attached to ribbons and suspended from an iron gazebo set amid a “garden” of yellow parasols, and three red velvet wedding cakes, two of which were displayed on tall wooden stands, and a third placed on a platform suspended from the ceiling.

Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1
Chandra and Matthew in Branford, CT
A sweet, laid-back garden wedding held on the groom's family's property was all about family and fun—not grandstanding. The couple used as many local vendors as possible, which included handing out bottles of Foxon Park Soda, a local favorite. The groom's mother made cupcakes for the dessert spread, which also included cookies baked by the groom's aunt and the best man's girlfriend. An old-fashioned photo booth kept guests entertained throughout the afternoon cocktail reception.

Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1
Mara and Max in Manhattan, NY
A hip downtown hotel provided a casual yet glamorous atmosphere for this wedding, which featured lush florals and pops of bright pink. The bride wore a white sequined Diane von Furstenburg dress, postcards featuring images of paintings and film posters from MoMA were used as escort cards (a nod to the couple's love of art and film), and the mini dessert buffet included homemade marshmallows, lemon tarts, and chocolate chip cookies.

Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1
Rhiannon and Ryan in Waltham, MA
A bold color scheme of black and yellow contrasted against the backdrop of a lush, bucolic estate at this creative wedding. A modern-looking seating chart created by the couple, both graphic designers, directed guests to their seats; tables were named after the couple's favorite authors. Black metal birdcages filled with flowers served as centerpieces at the reception, and as a funny dinnertime surprise, the couple silkscreened mustaches onto yellow napkins.

Best Real-Weddings of 2009 part.1
Sarah and Joey in Ann Arbor, MI
This charming wedding, held at a working farm, was filled with handmade details and genius ideas. (Our favorite: swatches of various fabrics were stitched to the escort cards, while each pattern corresponded to a matching table runner.) During the cocktail hour, guests sipped white sangria and played a variety of lawn games, including bocce ball and croquet. Afterward, they sat down to a meal of tapas-size portions of the couple's favorite foods, including pulled pork sandwiches, fish tacos, and macaroni and cheese.

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