September 27, 2008
Oratory Church of St. Boniface in Brooklyn
Bubby’s in DUMBO
Theme: Jon and I are both journalists and truly love the city, particularly Brooklyn, where we make our home. So we thought our wedding would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the borough for our friends and loved ones. Crafts — particularly needlework — are also a huge part of my life, so I wanted to imbue our wedding with lots of personal, handmade touches. Most of all, we really wanted to the day to be a celebration and feel like us — down-to-earth, even silly, but full of heart.
Setting: For our ceremony, we feel really lucky to have discovered the Oratory, which is tucked into a block in downtown Brooklyn. It’s a small, cozy Catholic church that strives to make everyone feel welcome. It was the perfect place to exchange our vows. For our reception, we very quickly settled on Bubby’s in DUMBO. The views are simply unbeatable, particularly during the cocktail hour. (Plus, we really wanted a fun, accessible menu — and you don’t get much more fun than fried chicken, pecan-crusted salmon and macaroni and cheese.)
Decor: We chose the color combination of chocolate and aqua — or “chocqua,” as we affectionately call it — early in the process, and I let it guide the rest of our design decisions. I had been toying with the idea of having our guests throw pompoms at us since I saw the idea in Martha Stewart Weddings, so when I saw these invitations by the White Aisle, everything came together. I got the invites, table numbers and escort cards in this motif, which reminded me of pompoms. My mom, mother-in-law and I made hundreds of “chocqua” pompoms (my made 400 herself!), which were thrown at us and also used to decorate the table. I also tied pompoms to a little card at each place setting, explaining that we would make a donation in lieu of favors. A lot of guests took the pompoms home with them, and we have a vase displaying the leftovers.
I didn’t want any artificial aqua flowers, so Carmine at Flowers by Emil used off-white spider mums — which reminded me of pompoms — and brown lotus pods for my bouquet and the centerpieces. (My bouquet also
had orange unique roses, just to add a little more color). Aqua table runners and “chocqua” lanterns bought on ebay brought everything together.
Dresses: My dress was by Mikaella and made of Chantilly lace, the same fabric that my beloved grandmother wore when she was married. While the lace is old-fashioned, the neckline is frayed and ragged, giving
it a more modern look. I wanted to be kind to my wedding party since traveling to New York is pricey enough, so they chose any J. Crew dress in espresso. Jon bought his suit at Brooks Brothers. I struggled to find ties for the men that brought all the colors together and finally found them — in Australia. But they were so inexpensive that we basically just paid shipping.
Photography: Jennifer Shea was our main photographer, with Stephen Strutt as the second shooter. They were so understanding and flexible and fun — it was misting all day, nearly ruining our chances of
taking pictures under the bridges. Anyone who says rain is good luck on your wedding day is lying. But it cleared just long enough for us to race over to the park after the ceremony, and they were such
professionals about it. Even though my hair fell because of the humidity, I’m glad we took the risk. (And luckily, I found four aqua umbrellas two days before the wedding at a hardware store on Court St.
– the employee gave me a discount because we were getting married!) The dance floor pictures are totally priceless! I also really have to credit Christine Viola of Exquisite Affairs Productions, who basically saved me from a hundred panic attacks.
Ceremony: We really cared about creating a ceremony that represented us. We spent a lot of time finding Bible readings that would speak to all of our guests, including one that mentions crafts (Proverbs 31 –
“She obtains wool and flax And makes cloth with skillful hands“) and chose the Gospel reading about Zaccheus, a childhood favorite of mine because I’m short. We also wrote our own vows, which is unusual for
Catholic weddings, as well as several smaller parts of the ceremony.
Music: For our ceremony, we really loved the idea of strings for most of the Mass, but this required a lot of extra work. Hire Conservatory Alumni worked with us to personalize the service and transcribe music
traditionally played on other instruments. I walked down to the aisle to “Anne’s Theme” from “Anne of Green Gables,” which sounded so beautiful in strings. And for our processional, they played an
instrumental version of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” It was just perfect. For our reception, we used the Downtown Band from Hank Lane, who were a total blast.
I knew immediately that I would knit and crochet shawls for my bridesmaids, which was a wonderful way to really relax and focus on our friendships before the wedding. I picked a different pattern for each of my girls, crocheting two and knitting two. For the groomsmen and our dads, I sewed boutonnières out of different “chocqua” fabrics, so each one was unique. People told us not to bother with programs,
but I always love reading about different traditions and following along with the service when I’m at weddings. I designed them myself, had them printed locally and included personal stories about us and our wedding party, as well as this poem by ee cummings. I also made a cake topper that looks alarmingly like us.
What I couldn’t make myself, I bought on Etsy.com because I really wanted to support independent artists. Myra at Twigs and Honey made my hairpiece, but I ended up swapping the center flower out and adding
one that matched our colors more. I bought cute flower earrings from Luxe Deluxe, and our ring holder, which was engraved with the same ee cummings poem, was from Palomas Nest. (Sadly, this got lost at the
reception!) I wore my mother’s pearl bracelet and carried my grandmother’s vintage handkerchief; Jon wore his grandfather’s cufflinks. And we bought our rings at Clay Pot in Park Slope.
[images by Jennifer Shea]
There were so many images I was drawn to when Erik sent me this wedding…the organic florals, the way his suit goes so well with that boutonniere, even the tiny carrot display! It was all very well put together…if I had to put a name on it, I would call it organically modern.
[images by Erik Ekroth]
I saw this pixel-inspired wedding over at Mocoloco and was instantly enamored! From the invitations, to the cake, even down to the ring, everything was wonderfully pixelated…read more about it here.
[images from Cabel.name]
From the beginning, Terrell and I knew we wanted a laid back, relaxed
wedding, so most of the decisions we made revolved around that. We
were going for a warm and whimsical feel and knew we wanted a fall
wedding outside. We both come from large extended families and so we
planned for 250, which turned out to be about right.
VENUE: We wanted the ceremony and reception at the same place, and it
was pretty important to us that we be able to do our own decorating
and have time to spend with our people. So we were really happy to
find a barn-styled retreat center near our home that we could rent for
the whole weekend. The Barn at Valhalla had a pond and rolling lawn
for the outdoor wedding and beautiful mahogany floors for dancing
later on. There was an outdoor fireplace that made a great hangout
spot away from the dance floor, and the site was casual enough that 20
or so kids could run around and explore. We spent the day before
decorating with the wedding party, our family and helpful friends and
were able to have a larger (40+) rehearsal dinner there Friday night.
Bonus: the barn had an upstairs which slept 18 and had two full
bathrooms, which made it a great place to get ready, too.
THEME: I know most people plan these out, but ours sort of happened by
accident, evolving from our save the dates (baby pictures using moo
cards) and invitations (little fabric pouches). We’re both known for
taking lots of pictures, so incorporating family photos made sense.
Sewing also ended up being a common thread, as my family has long ties
to the garment industry and his is full of quilters (In fact, all of
the fabric used in our invites came from our parents’ various
DECORATIONS: The one drawback to our venue was the art lining the
walls. We got around this by incorporating lots and lots of family
quilts. Terrell’s mother and uncle spent a good bit of time on Friday
using tobacco sticks from his grandparent’s farm to hang almost 20
quilts inside and outside of the barn over the art. It really made the
whole place feel comfortable and homey. There was also a wonderful
quilted tablecloth on the cake table. On the cocktail tables, we had
centerpieces made out of three wooden frames, assembled around a
candle. These held family shots printed on vellum so they could be lit
from behind. We used leftover moo cards from our save the dates as
accents on the flower arrangements. And perhaps one of our most fun
ideas was to line the tables with brown kraft paper and set out small
tin buckets of crayons. We had no idea the guests would enjoy this as
much as they did, but we ended up with lots of wonderful drawings and
FLOWERS: We wanted simple arrangements in mason jars and had been
planning to go with our local farmer’s market for flowers, but our
wedding date ended up being at the end of the growing season. We were
able to get lilies from a local greenhouse and supplement the rest
through Whole Foods (who was fantastic to work with). If you feel
comfortable doing your own flowers (and have the time and some
helpers) I would recommend it to anyone on a budget. Since it was a
fall wedding, my dad also brought in a ton of mums, and we decorated
the arbor with ivy from my parent’s yard. My friends and I made the
guy’s simple boutonnieres out of daisies and bittersweet (which we
also used on the arbor).
FOOD: Keeping it laid back, we had a buffet line catered by our
favorite BBQ joint and used our favorite Mediterranean place for the
vegetarian options and appetizers. We weren’t sure if this was a weird
combination, but all of the food was devoured and one friend told us a
highlight of our wedding for him was being able to combine his two
loves: hushpuppies and hummus.
CAKES: Oh my god, the cakes. We have the most amazing friend Kim who
offered to do our wedding cake as our present. As we talked about what
we were thinking (cupcakes), she suggested multiple wedding cakes in
several flavors instead (apparently, she has strong opinions about
cupcakes). I was so glad we listened because the cakes (9 total) were
amazing. Not only were they gorgeous, but easily the best I have ever
eaten. People are still talking about them. In fact, we had to move up
the cake cutting time because lines began forming right after dinner.
Most people went back to try multiple kinds. And Kim took care of
everything, even the flowers for decorating them — she made it as
stress-free as it gets.
FAVORS: We rented an old timey photo booth (the-photobooth.com) for
five hours and used it as both our guestbook and our favors. We asked
everyone to leave us one strip and sign our book and the rest were
theirs to keep. This was a huge hit with guests and the book is one of
my favorite things from the wedding. The company also brought a
scanner and scanned each strip for us, so it was awesome having these
images to look at right after the wedding. (online at
kellyink/sets/) We also ended 72157608188917552
up getting some fun personalized koozies, since for some of the
refreshments, we had sodas in large galvanized tubs. These turned out
to be in demand.
ART: Both of us really appreciate art and well made craft, so we
incorporated these into our wedding wherever possible. I’m a huge fan
of outsider art and have tried to visit some of these artists around
our home state. We had visited artist Vollis Simpson a couple of times
before we were married and owned a few of his whirligigs. So we
decided to ask him to create a larger piece for our wedding day. We
also had him make many smaller whirligigs which we gave to our wedding
party and families. Other wedding items (ring bowl, wooden guest book)
came from artists on Etsy.com and I made our caketopper using a basic
kit from another Etsy vendor, The Small Object (she now sells
caketoppers, too). We also invested in great photographers, Whitebox
Weddings, who have really made our memories of the day come to life.
[images from Whitebox Weddings]
Ever since discovering the blog jinsoojung…I’ve been waiting in anticipation for her wedding photos to be posted! I know you’re going to understand why once you see these pictures…
my husband and i met in high school when we were just 16 years old and we’ve been together ever since. after having been together for so long, our idea of the “perfect” weddind shifted to an event where we could just enjoy ourselves.
the wedding was held at the mills gallery, in boston’s south end. we included a mix of traditional, non-traditional, korean and american elements, and even a trolley tour of the city. in general, if something didn’t feel like “us”, we didn’t incorporate it into the wedding. in the end, we had a fun day surrounded by our family members.
in the 6 months leading up to the wedding, not only were chris and i planning the wedding, but we were also applying to law and graduate schools, apartment hunting, and maintaining full-time jobs. it was a chaotic blur in our lives. and we often look back and wonder how we were able to do everything at once.
You can see more photos at jinsoojung…unfortunately Christine has stopped blogging, but you can catch up with all her past inspirations.
[images from Liz Linder]
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