CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE: Sean and I got married in a field in front of a cabin outside of Seattle that has been in my family for generations. My great-great-great grandfather owned the land between the cabin and what is now Kayak Park. Over the years all the land was sold, but my great grandmother was eventually able to buy back a small portion of the property where the cabin now sits. I spent many childhood summers there picking apples, camping in the field with cousins, swimming and building elaborate sand/driftwood forts down at the beach, so it was a very meaningful spot for us to have our ceremony and reception. My parents and grandparents put so much love and time into the cabin – painting the trim, collecting driftwood to build the arbor we were married under, and landscaping the field with flowers that matched our wedding colors – yellow, orange, and red. We were married by the same pastor who married my parents – an old family friend whose daughter I grew up with.
INVITATIONS: Sean and I have our own design company, Sub-Studio (
http://store.sub-studio.com/custom/custom.html), where we design hand-screened paper goods. We knew we wanted to design as many elements as possible for the wedding. We set the tone for our outdoor, destination wedding (my family was local, but Sean’s family and most of our friends flew in from the New York area), with a playful suitcase motif save the date. The invitation that followed was more refined and elegant and was designed around a leaf motif to refer to the outdoor ceremony/reception. A red thread wrapped around the invite to imply a branch, which also became a way to tie all of the different pieces of the invitation together. The same red thread showed up again in the binding of our programs.
GOWN: I bought my wedding dress from the Bridal Garden in NYC (http://www.bridalgarden.org/), a not-for-profit bridal boutique that sells deeply discounted designer wedding gowns. All proceeds from the Bridal Garden go to the Sheltering Arms Children’s Service (an organization dedicated to the education of New York City children). My gown was by Melissa Sweet – I was instantly attracted to its simplicity and the delicate bead work. I wore a very simple veil that was made for me by one of the seamstresses at the Bridal Garden.
I kept my jewelry very minimal and wore a pair of earrings that I made from faceted citrine drops. I made matching earrings and necklaces for my bridesmaids. My shoes were classic, creme pumps by Bandolino that I got from DSW. They had a slight wooden heel which was great for walking around in the grass all evening, since you couldn’t see the dirt.
HAIR AND MAKEUP: The lovely Erin Skipley of Bellatrix Studio (http://www.bellatrixstudio.com/) did the hair and makeup of myself and my bridesmaids. I normally wear no makeup at all, and Erin was able to find just the right mix of natural and dramatic.
BRIDESMAID DRESSES: My bridesmaids wore dresses from Ann Taylor Loft. The dresses were creme, with a simple, dark navy (almost black) graphic of a plant running vertically along the mid section of the dress. It was hard to convince my ladies to wear white (they were afraid the white would call too much attention to themselves), but ultimately we (especially me!) loved how it turned out.
FORMAL WEAR: We didn’t ask the groomsmen to buy specific suits for the wedding, so long as they were black. They wore yellow pocket squares and ties to match my bridesmaids’ flowers and Sean had a red pocket square and tie that matched my bouquet. Sean had custom Converse slip-ons made for himself and for the groomsmen. All of the shoes were black – Sean’s shoes had red stitching and his groomsmen’s had yellow stitching.
CEREMONY PROGRAMS: We designed our programs around our invitations with a simplified leaf design. The program cover was printed with red that matched the detail of the invitations, and they were bound with the same red thread as the invitations.
FLOWERS: My mom found our florist, Amy (firstname.lastname@example.org), who lived just a few minutes away from the cabin and had a sign for fresh flowers in front of her house. We described our vision to her and she made it happen. Because we were having an outdoor wedding we wanted the flowers to pop against the green backdrop, so we went with yellow, red, and orange arrangements, using a mix of dahlias, gladiolas, lilies, cosmos, and gerber daisies. For the most part, each arrangement was kept to shades of one of the three colors. We didn’t want the arrangements to obstruct the view of the guests, so we kept them small and had several centerpieces on each table. Amy provided simple, white vases for the arrangements.
CATERING: Chef Bertron (http://www.chefbert.com/) was our caterer.
The cabin is located about an hour north of Seattle, so before the ceremony we had a cocktail hour and served hors d’oeuvres, to give people time to arrive and relax. For dinner Chef Bert served grilled, fresh Alaskan salmon, spring mixed greens, garlic mashed potatoes, grilled baby corn with chili and Parmesan cheese and fresh sour dough bread. One bonus with Chef Bert – he will come to your home and cook your proposed wedding menu (for a party of six – it’s his version of a tasting). Because we were planning our wedding from across the country, we didn’t get to take advantage of this great service, but I was able to convince my cousin and his wife to sacrifice an evening to help us out.
MUSIC: We hired the Pacific Brass Quintet (http://www.pacificbrassquintet.com/) to play for 2 1/2 hours which covered the cocktail hour, the ceremony, and most of dinner. They played a great selection of jazz music. Afterwards, we had an iPod, curated by Sean, that provided the music to dance to. On our RSVP, we had asked each guest to request a song, and included all of the requests in the iPod mix. Our first dance was to Etta James’ “Sunday Kind of Love”, the song that Sean had asked me to dance to by the reflection pool at Lincoln Center before proposing. I love that song.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Between our photographer, Summerhouse Photography (
email@example.com), and our artistic friends (the photos shown here are a mix from all of these people), I was so pleased with the photos of our wedding. Kristin was great – she has a candid style that we loved and she was a pleasure to work with. We also had two Polaroid cameras that our guests used to sign our guest book with and also to take photos with throughout the evening. As you can imagine, the photos got more and more funny as the night progressed!
CAKE: Sean and I are both cupcake people, so we opted not to have a traditional wedding cake but to have cupcakes made instead by Haggen (http://www.haggen.com/), iced in our wedding colors. My mom had a larger cupcake made up for us to cut and feed to each other. Our cake toppers were a little Lego bride and groom that I found on Ebay.
FAVORS: We made prints for each guest as the favor, and designed a print that incorporated the cabin and the location of the stars on our wedding night. We screenprinted it with metallic dark navy ink onto a pale blue paper. We strung the favors on a makeshift clothes line, along with each guest’s table card.
The evening ended with a big bonfire and s’mores. It was the perfect way to finish celebrating.
[images from Summerhouse Photography]
[images from Belathée Photography]
Annabel from Belathée Photography sent me this amazing wedding from down in Florida…Anna Melcon is an incredibly talented artist and put together a lot of wonderfully handmade and personal touches. Here’s what she had to say about the day! [ps...Anna found Annabel through Brooklyn Bride! Full circle baby! I love it!]
Nathan and I planned our wedding in 3 ½ months (why not?) and had nearly 200 guests. It was a hectic time but I had so much fun and wouldn’t have changed a thing. I’m a graphic designer and illustrator so I really enjoyed having the opportunity to make so much stuff for the wedding myself.
THEME: The first thing we decided was to have a traditional mariachi band play at the wedding and that ended up setting the theme and tone of the day. We had a mix of traditional Mexican elements with organic and folk styles (I had to fit in animals). Somehow it all fit together and it was both festive and unique to our styles and it lent itself well to the laid back, casual and fun atmosphere that we were going for.
INVITATIONS: I illustrated and designed the invitations. It was a fold out little poster with an illustration on one side and all of the wedding info on the other. I also created a website to complement it for the RSVP (which made it so easy) and other information for guests.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE: Both the ceremony and the reception were held outdoors at a beautiful little cottage set on a secluded 160 acres in Central Florida. The ceremony took place in front of the house in the brick courtyard and the reception immediately followed in back of the house overlooking the lake. The cottage, which was incredibly unique and built by hand, was the perfect size to hold the cake, guest book, and to serve food from.
PROGRAMS: Our wedding was outside in the middle of July in Florida so I decided to make the programs hand fans (it may have been cruel not to). On one side of the fan I illustrated the faces of the wedding party and our families and on the other I wrote out what was happening at the wedding. I printed out each side on my home printer and had a cutting and gluing party to attach them to popsicle sticks.
GOWN & ATTIRE: My dress was from J.Crew. I wanted something simple, understated yet unique, and comfortable. J.Crew was one of the first places I looked and I loved the dress I tried on immediately. My mom and I made the hairpiece I wore out of a re-worked silk flower and pieces of lace that we added beading to. The bridesmaids also wore dresses from J.Crew in a kelly green color and the guys wore shirts and vests from Urban Outfitters.
CENTERPIECES: The centerpieces were my favorite things to make. My idea was so make mini forests in the middle of each table using tissue paper, glass jars and branches. It ended up working out great and was so easy and cheap. I found the jars from uline.com (for only $3 a jar!), ordered the colored tissue paper, and hunted down branches from around the neighborhood. I made tissue paper flowers, affixed them to the branches and placed them in jars with paper grass at the bottom. I also painted a few animals and cut them out of paper and placed them at the bottom to finish the ‘scene.’
FLOWERS: The only fresh flowers I had were for the wedding party and myself and were mainly a mix of orchids, ferns, and dahlias. My bouquet used white orchids and mixed greens and it was based off of a photo I found. The bridesmaids had a bit more color with coral and yellow dahlias.
CAKE: I loved how the cake turned out so much. When I found out how much wedding cakes cost I was tempted to find an alternative but I’m really glad that I swallowed the shock and decided to go with one. The bakery I used, Bake Me a Cake, did a fantastic job. I brought them a few sketches of the ideas I had, gave them my wedding invitation, and photos of the centerpieces and this is what came out! It was perfect.
PINATAS: When we decided on the mariachi band and other Mexican touches I naturally had to incorporate piñatas. I knew that I wasn’t really into the idea of a formal cake cutting (and couldn’t bear to cut into such a pretty thing) so we decided to have a piñata hitting instead of the cake cutting. Nathan and I were blindfolded, spun around, and went at our respective piñatas as the mariachi band played and the guys who ran the place surprised us with mini fireworks. It was so much fun.
MUSIC: The mariachi band was all we needed. They were amazing and were the highlight of the wedding. They played for both the ceremony and the reception the 8 of them were dressed to perfection in their traditional attire.
FAVORS: We created a little fruit stand to give away fruit as our favors. I originally wanted to give away Florida oranges but since they were out of season we decided on the next best thing, Georgia peaches. We had a local vendor that drives them down from Georgia every week bring us extra crates the week of the wedding. Guests could pick their fruit and put them in brown paper ‘apple bags’ that I stamped with our names and wedding date.
[images from Belathée Photography]
We were truly lucky that all the people we worked with were so amazing, professional and friendly. They truly helped us create a day that felt like it was our own. We got married at this fabulous house overlooking the Hudson Valley called Osborn Castle (aka Cat Rock). We had a family style dinner catered by Fresh Company. Our florist, Denise Fasanello made beautiful clusters of flowers and greens along the tables. Our photographer, Jeff Tisman got me (typically camera-shy) to come out of my shell for the day. Both our rabbi and dj are friends. I embroidered the talis for our chuppah. Our invitations were from Bird and Banner. All of the pieces fit into place that day but nothing was as great the joy and the energy of our friends and family. Every day should be so filled with love!
There were so many great real weddings these past 2 weeks…thanks to everyone that sent in!
UPDATE: Brett’s dress, for those of you asking, is by Monique Lhuillier, and is for sale if anyone is interested (size 2)
[images from Jeff Tisman]
Emily from Vine Floral and Event Design sent me these gorgeous pictures of Jennifer + Colins black, white and green wedding she recently did at a loft in the city. Modern and totally cool….that striped cake base is driving me bananas! Jennifer happens to have a blog for her stationery company Romeo + Jules, so check it out [she designed her own invites!].