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Real Weddings


As a diehard romantic with a bohemian sense of style, Cate Elcan was always going to take to the role of bride with ease. “She was very clear on what she wanted,” Julie says. It was ethereal styles that would float down the aisle with, floral details and lots of tulle. Oh, and she loves a voluminous sleeve. Having worked with Cate’s sister Lauren on her wedding previously, The Stylish Bride team knew the family well, but this time round was going to be totally different, as the two sisters have such unique senses of style. “We had a lot of fun and came up with some really cool and unique fashion looks for Cate”.

The wedding between Cate and her fiancé Connor Fair took place on the Elcans’ family farm in Nashville on October 28th 2023. Festivities kicked off on the Thursday evening with the rehearsal dinner, for which Cate wore a two piece from Jay Andretta that consisted of a bias cut satin skirt and an off-the-shoulder top. Accessorised with gold pieces including a Bottega clutch, it came together beautifully. As the couple went out on a boat and took pictures together, it was a real ‘movie star’ moment.

The following night the couple threw a welcome party for the rest of the guests, which took place in a large field on their property, with multiple tents Mindy Rice and Easton Events filled with flowers and ribbons, plus bonfires dotted around the grounds. “She really wanted to wear cowboy boots that night and wanted something that was a completely different look than what she was going to wear on her wedding day itself,” explains Julie. “So we found her a very cool Danielle Frankel dress that was modern with a vintage hint to it.” She teamed the dress with the boots and a cashmere Loro Piana wrap in beautiful autumnal hues, which pulled the whole look together. “These are some of my favorite pictures we’ve ever taken,” says Julie.

For the main event, there was only ever one option for Cate. “It was definitely going to be this Lee Grebenau dress from their New York City boutique which just really encompassed everything that she was looking for,” says Julie. With a sweetheart neckline, sheer balloon sleeves and a full skirt, plus floral embroidery details, it was exactly what you’d imagine a boho bride wearing. In addition, we made the sleeves detachable, so she could take them off for the reception and just have the straps. The only issue with so much tulle and a farm wedding? “We had to keep removing bugs during the photos,” laughs Julie.

In a lovely touch, Cate wore earrings from her grandmother, who had recently passed away. “Her sister, Lauren wore the same ones, so it was a really special thing that they could both wear them on their wedding days.” For Cate, shoes were always difficult and a source of concern after breaking her ankle, and she needed to find something as comfortable and stable as possible. Julie had recently purchased suede platform sandals for herself from M.Gemi, and suggested it to Cate. While it wasn’t the traditional fancy wedding shoe, it was perfect for her and she was comfortable all day.

For a handbag, we worked for months with her mom and Maria from Bella Rosa on creating a surprise clutch that matched her wedding dress. Maria’s work is incredible and she re-created the exact flowers on the dress and embroidered them onto the handbag. But perhaps the most special detail was the engraved plate that was on the inside of the purse with a very special message from her mom. There were no dry eyes in the room when she opened the gift at the bridesmaids’ luncheon.

Then, when it came to the after party look, Cate again had a very specific look in mind. But sadly, it no longer existed. “She’d seen this Fendi dress that she couldn’t stop thinking about,” explains Julie. “So we did a custom version with our in-house designer Peter Soronen.” The end result was perfect: layered of romantic off-the-shoulder draping in white tulle, it complemented her daytime look while also allowing her more freedom of movement to hit the dancefloor.

Julie and the team also worked with Cate on the looks for her 12 bridesmaids, which were each a little different and custom made. As it was a Fall wedding, the bride wanted them to wear dresses that were in a similar color palette of reds, oranges and yellows, inspired by a Francesca Miranda gown Julie had seen at a bridal market. “There were no two dresses that were the same,” she explains. “There were four different necklines and four different colors.” They also created bespoke earrings with Bounkit, too, to match the dresses. The end result was stunning, particularly in the photographs of the bridal party standing underneath the crimson and russet leaves.

With two daughters getting married in the space of a few years, it was important for the Mother of the Bride to have something that was different to what she wore at Lauren’s wedding. After scouring the options available, Julie decided to have something custom made by their in-house designer. “It was a really stunning olive green silk fabric,” she says. “With an off the shoulder neckline and three quarter length sleeves, plus hand-dyed flowers embroidered on.”

There’s no comparison between the two weddings – both sisters stayed true to themselves and it showed. With one more Elcan sister left to go, we can’t wait for the next one (no pressure Carrie!).