As a professional wedding consultant, Jeanine Zabotinsky had a head start when it came to planning her nuptials to Giles Byron Campbell Jr. – to the point that she actually started organizing the big day months before her groom officially popped the question. “The actual proposal didn’t come until two months prior because the custom ring we were designing with our jeweler just wasn’t right,” she explains. Even though it was not exactly a complete surprise, Giles still pulled off a romantic proposal. “Fireplace roaring, tons of candles (staggered and in heart formations!), a bottle of Moët on ice, fantastic music, tons of white orchids and roses displayed everywhere, and himself perfectly positioned in a gorgeous suit looking handsome as ever, waiting for me to walk in,” Jeanine gushes. “The cherry on top? My two Chihuahuas perfectly poised in their matching tuxedos, ready to greet mommy! It was everything I could ever ask for. All of my favorite things in one place at one time.”
Two months to the day later, and seven years after meeting, it was time for the sweethearts to be wed. Guests arrived early to enjoy pre-ceremony gourmet popcorn and passed Champagne before they found their seats in the stunning Gothic cathedral. Instead of a traditional veil, the bride wore a chic headpiece to complement her modern ball gown. After a touching service that included a tribute to the groom’s late father, Jeanine and Giles sealed their marriage vows with a kiss.
The bride used her experience as a wedding planner to try something different: “I came up with the idea of a ‘strolling wedding,’” she shares. “I loved the idea of having all types of food throughout the entire event, without a rigid structure, leaving our guests the leisure of tasting and sipping all night long.” They had the entire estate to themselves, so instead of a seating chart, there was plenty of seating throughout the venue where attendees could stop to mingle and enjoy appetizers, small plates, and desserts from the Viennese hour – depending on the current portion of the evening.
Despite the nontraditional structure, centerpieces featuring Jeanine’s favorite flowers – roses and orchids – were still seen on reception tables with three-dimensional linens. Arrangements also featured large, gold-dipped feathers, which are a signature styling of the bride.
Though the wedding went exactly as she hoped, Jeanine admits she wishes she had hired a day-of coordinator. “I didn’t take my own advice and I should have,” she confides. “I have it all planned out and covered, I can do it all!” However, she believes having another professional there that morning would have allowed her to enjoy more of the time getting ready with her mom and bridesmaids.