1 1 . 1 8 . 1 3 // weddings: you may now kiss the groom!


when one of my best friends andy monaco asked me to help him with his wedding the answer was an immediate "yyeessss!".  andy and i go way back.  both of us worked on abc's extreme makeover: home edition together.  we had an amazing opportunity to work on many homes across the country and the last season of the show he was pretty much my saving grace! :) he is one of the loveliest, most gentle spirited, level headed, nicest, wouldn't hurt a fly... i could go on and on about this person.  not only was his wedding going to be held in a historic barn in nebraska city, it was bound to be a beautiful matrimony between a "groom and a groom".  i would never in a million years have missed the union of andy monaco + patrick forrest.

although stressful at times (they both planned the wedding), every single detail paid off.  their matching shoes, patrick's wardrobe change into his u.s. coast guard uniform, their groomsmen ties, the outdoor games, the home made limoncello. the day was perfect!


with all of their family and friends spread across the country, they decided to find a location close to a majority of their family; and not surprisingly, the location was ah-mazing!!  i wish i could have stayed an extra day or 2 to run around and photograph some more of the gorgeousness, however, of course there was work and we were gone the following day.  the wedding was held at the historic barns of arbor day farms. andy, patrick and i had been planning the decór and floral details for about a year.  we were all so excited about a "barn wedding!!", i mean who doesn't want one?! 



we had a great local rental company on board, nostalgia, who provided the chairs for the ceremony, as well as a majority of all vases and vintage props for the reception. 

the barn for the ceremony smelt like you just walked into the most breathtaking botanical garden.  with the twinkle lights above, seeded eucalyptus, lavender and queen annes lace scattered throughout the space, it was truly awe-inspiring. the moment you walked in, you felt at home.  

one of my most favorite touches in the barn were the arrangements i surrounded andy and patrick with.  thank god andy's parents have quite the green thumb!  we saved a lot of money by shopping in their backyard a few days before the wedding.  all of the white hydrangeas surrounding the couple, the green halos above the grooms, the wild grasses, as well as andy, patrick and all of the groomsmen's boutineers were all hand picked from mr. and mrs. monaco's backyard!  how cute is that!  it was sentimental and a sweet touch that i know meant a lot to the family. 


although i know patrick would have loved a glee flashmob, after "you may kiss you the groom!", we ultimately went for something a bit more subtle.  both bridal parties held up a rustic arrow and flashing "A + P" sign welded from iron, made with love by our friend Justin Ballard.


my dude kris aka partner in crime, our dear friend vanessa price (also a friend/sister/co-worker from extreme makeover) and her boyfriend had so much fun the night before the wedding.... doing our thang!  the venue was super awesome and allowed for us to take over pretty much the entire night.  it was a very laid back, beautiful wedding. we all had a lovely time.  

when it came to the wedding decór, andy and patrick wanted a romantic family style dinner, which i personally always love! we kept the decór simple, romantic, and rich, incorporating splashes of fruits and vegetables, all varying in different hues of purples.  


probably one of my favorite parts of the whole night was when andy and patrick brought out a birthday cake for andy's father.  it truly felt like one big happy family dinner.... more than just a wedding. it was how a wedding should be.

a + p gave vanessa, kris and myself a big shout out during their wedding speech (which they totally did not have to) but truly meant a lot to us!  we landed 48 hours before the wedding and pulled it off lol! it was crazy, but i feel so honored to have been a part of their day.  it was a wedding i will never forget.  i wish i could have recorded the ceremony. they were married by patrick's god mother and as they say, "true love is true love, no matter who it's with".  they are a beautiful couple!  i had chills and my heart was filled with so much joy and happiness when i went home.  a million thank you's and cheers to many, many years of happiness, love and tons of crazy laughter!! xoveronica

A note from Andy on their big day :)

"Patrick and I are both third generation Italians (Sicilians actually), however no grandparents are still alive. We wanted to incorporate certain aspects of our heritage, if only hints, to bring alive that history of those that paved the way for us to live in this country where we can be married and share our lives openly. We served caprese and hearty Italian salads, garlic pepper rubbed rib eye, roasted chicken with capers, handmade tortellini, and rustic Italian olive bread. With the cake we served Italian wedding cookies (Patrick’s family’s recipe) and limoncello (my father made at home!). The food obviously took on the Italian theme, and during the cocktail hour we served honey bourbon shandies and a wonderful honey bourbon lemonade, both a huge hit at quenching the heat in the 90 degree, humid weather.  The honey bourbon fit into a side theme for the wedding, which was to incorporate the honey bees. They showed up in Patrick and my boutonnieres, but also in the hair pins the “groomsmaids” wore. Not only a wonderful symbol of summer in the country and historically a symbol of royalty, but honey bees also have signified immortality, resurrection, diligence and indefatigable effort. A perfect subtle touch for us to start our lives together."


aren't they just the cutest!!

Ceremony // historic barns at arbor day farms, nebraska city

reception // stein hart lodge, nebraska city

event design and production // designhunterLA & andy monaco (the groom)

floral design // willow and jade, flower power partner in crime: vanessa price

photography // dana damewood

rentals (furniture & decor) // nostalgia rentals

cake // chris janicek at cake box

suits // suit supply

grooms shoes // cole haan

bridesmaid dresses // ann taylor