Our wedding honored our faith and radiated the love of our families and friends, who so givingly devoted themselves to us throughout the process and the day itself. My sisters were my maids of honor, and Eric’s twin brother was his best man. One sister, a cosmetologist, got up at 5:30 to get ready so she could spend the whole morning doing my hair and makeup. My brother was one of Eric’s groomsmen and Eric’s sister was one of my bridesmaids. Both our dads gave amazing, tear-jerking speeches. My three adorable little cousins were the ring bearers and flower girl. Our bridal party came from as far as San Antonio, Texas! We felt so blessed to be surrounded by (almost) all the people who are important to us.
We were married in Portland, Oregon, at our church building, a large, transformed warehouse. We worked with the feeling of the church’s décor, which mixes raw natural pieces with industrial-feeling elements, a combination we loved and that was perfect for our vision. We are both artists, and wanted our wedding to be representative of us. I was worried about filling such an enormous space – it seats 1,000 people and we had around 200 – but with the huge room dimmed and lighting left mostly to candles, the space became astonishingly intimate. The dim lighting turned the focus to the stage and dramatic elements like long birch tree curtain panels hung from the very tall ceiling, candle-filled gutters along the sides of the aisle, and large arrangements of bare branches and bold, unusual looking flowers. Our lone stage floral spray consisted mostly of tall black pussy willow and forsythia branches. I was stunned to see how it all came together and filled the space so well. Everything was basic and bold, making a dramatic, but not flashy, statement.
Because I was between undergraduate and graduate school, I was able to take on lots of DIY projects in preparation for the wedding. I loved doing this, as it saved money and made everything more personal. Eric and I designed all our paper products, including save the dates, invitations, labels to put on bags of local coffee beans as favors, and 6-page square booklet programs that I sewed together with my machine. I sewed the fabric flower in my hair using lace cut from the bottom of my wedding dress during alterations. Instead of coffee beans for the kids, we assembled bags of jelly beans and included children’s names on the bags to avoid mix-ups and overindulgence. :]
Our standing reception felt like an art show, with people walking around conversing and drinking espresso from two catered carts. We played instrumental, beat-driven songs by Eric’s favorite indie bands. Yours Truly Caterers served an amazing bite-sized hors d’oeuvres spread, along with our special request, crepes with chocolate hazelnut butter and bananas. YUM. Our guest book consisted of two large pieces of canvas hung on a bare wall. Guests wrote and drew on the canvas with multicolored paint pens. There were lots of children in attendance, which we loved. My mom, a former 2nd grade teacher, set up a craft table where kids could glue tissue paper blossoms to paper branches on card stock. We showed a video in which my roommate and her fiancé interviewed Eric and I separately about each other; it was the first time either of us saw it, and it was a huge hit with everyone. My two beautiful sisters both gave speeches and then surprised me by singing “Sisters,” from the old movie White Christmas. I laughed and cried continually throughout the afternoon – it was perfect.
We completely treasure our antique rings (pictured). They are one-of-a-kind, and we can rest knowing we didn’t bring new diamonds into the country. Eric’s band has several different colors of gold inlaid in designs of roses and even a cherub, and it has initials and a wedding date from 1880 engraved inside. My rings are from 1940 and 1960.
In addition to everything I’ve mentioned, one of my favorite memories of the day was catching my 4-year-old cousin, one of my ring bearers and probably the cutest little boy in the world, peeking into the room where the girls were doing hair and makeup (pictured).
Rings from Gilt Vintage and Artisan Jewelry, giltjewelry.com
Caterering by Yours Truly Caterers, yourstrulycaterers.com
Photography by Tyler Gould, tylergouldmedia.com
Dress by San Patrick, sanpatrick.com
Dress from Anna’s Bridal, annasbridal.com
Bride’s shoes by Jeffrey Campbell, jeffreycampbell.com (purchased at Nordstrom)
Tuxedos by Joseph Abboud, josephabboud.com
Tuxedos from A Formal Affair, http://www.aformalaffairtuxedo.com
Groom’s shoes by Aldo Shoes, aldoshoes.com
Coffee for favors by Stumptown Coffee Roasters, stumptowncoffee.com
Flowers designed by Lynda at City Flowers and Interiors, www.cityflowerspdx.com
Bride’s Hair and Makeup by Lauren Murray (email me for contact info)
Wedding held at Solid Rock church in Tigard, Oregon, ajesuschurch.org
[images from Tyler Gould]
Two weekends ago I headed out to the Hamptons for my dear friend Christina’s bridal shower…its always nice to catch up with old friends isn’t it? Anyway, she’s a very eco-conscious gal, and on the invite, it was requested that we not bring wrapped gifts. (We didn’t have to bring gifts at all, but I like spoiling her) Since we couldn’t use giftwrap, and I just couldn’t bring myself to bring just the box, I had to come up with a way to jazz it up a bit, so I bought a couple of paint pens from the art store and went to town on the box! If I had more time, I probably would have colored in all the pattern to completely cover all the text, but I kinda like it like this too. I threw on a big green bow, and it was all set! Do you have any interesting ways of dressing up a gift without using giftwrap?
[images by Brooklyn Bride]
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]
[image from Mint]
The ladies at Betsywhite have these adorable labels on their blog available for download….for FREE! Its based on that equally adorable inspiration board above. Great for you DIYers.
[images from Betsywhite]
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