Pamela Dunn and Michael Dion planned to invite over 150 family and friends to their spring wedding – some of which would have to travel a fair distance to be present. “It meant a lot to me to have them attend, therefore I wanted to create a very memorable [celebration],” says the bride. The pair sought a venue that could offer a warm ambiance coupled with an understated elegance so that family and friends would have a wonderful experience. With that in mind, they decided to host their festivities at an elegant chateau that offered beautifully manicured gardens and a ballroom fit for royalty. “Once we saw the historic chateau,” Michael explains, “we knew that it would be ideal for the big day.”
Pamela selected a neutral color palette that combined classic shades of champagne and ivory with chocolate brown accents. Elegant pale pink gowns worn by the bride’s attendants – her daughters and the daughter of the groom – complemented the décor colors beautifully. Pamela made her entrance carrying a romantic bouquet of peonies wrapped in vintage ribbon. Her elegant strapless gown featured understated rouching and paired perfectly with dazzling diamond drop earrings. The ceremony took place outdoors where a small stage was created and lined in moss. A backdrop was crafted from birch poles and strung with fresh orchids and glass pearls of various sizes. Guests were seated on either side of a creamy aisle edged with moss displays and tall arrangements of hydrangeas and fresh foliage.
Pamela and Michael recognized several special family members – including their respective children – by dedicating part of the ceremony to them. “I invited Michael’s children to be part of our lives and family, and Michael did the same with my daughters,” says the bride. “Then all four children lit a unity candle together.” The ceremony itself was written largely by the couple with the guidance of their minister. “We wanted the words we spoke to be very meaningful to us,” Pamela explains. The sweet sentiments continued when a soloist and pianist performed “I Will Be Here” by Steven Curtis Chapman. When it was time for the pianist to sing his verses, Michael said to Pamela, “It’s show time!” and stood up on the altar to croon the words himself. “It blew Pam and our guests away,” remembers Michael of the special surprise. “It was very emotional and totally unexpected.”
A classic, but modern feel was designed for the reception. Antique hydrangeas, pink, ivory, and taupe roses, cymbidium and dendrobium orchids, as well as peonies were used for the three varieties of centerpieces that were placed in glass vases accented with antique-inspired brooches and pearl embellishments. Soft candlelight highlighted the gorgeous tablescapes that included gold-rimmed chargers, beautiful menus tucked into decadent silk dinner napkins, and fresh rose petals strewn about. Magnificent linens of champagne silk covered tables, while gorgeous lace chair covers adorned seats.
Because the groom enjoys entertaining loved ones, Michael focused on making the day as memorable for guests as it would be for him and Pamela. “It really came down to all the details that Pam and I had planned for the day… it was what made the experience so special,” says the groom. “I particularly wanted a band that would keep the reception lively and provide music that everyone would be excited about.” With that in mind, Michael planned for a 13-piece band to entertain loved ones throughout the night. “They kept our guests engaged on the dance floor and created a unique experience that everyone really enjoyed.”
The day was as fabulous as the couple imagined it could be. The bride admits she was glad she decided to hire a wedding consultant after initially trying to handle all the arrangements herself. “I realized that with other obligations, the time to plan would be limited, and in order to have a special wedding, finding exceptional planners would be important. They handled all of the details beautifully.” And a magical wedding they had, indeed. “Everything was absolutely perfect and seeing it all come together at once will be something I’ll never forget,” confirms the groom.