Real wedding: Anna + Sean









Anna and her husband Sean are one creative couple…I think their wedding speaks for itself!

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.

ACCESSORIES:

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 (khryshaze@aol.com), 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 (

kmgiordano@gmail.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]

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Real wedding: Amanda + Matt






A few months ago I showed you Amanda and Matt’s bridal portraits taken in Brooklyn, and now that they are finally hitched, Amanda sent me some of the amazing photos Jessica Johnson took.

All of our decisions were based on our venue – our colors, orange and gold, matched the elaborate ceiling tiles and the theme, “bohemian Art Deco”, came naturally. I DIYed everything except for the flowers!

Bridal attire – I went for a very glamorous look, with a vintage up do and a birdcage veil. My makeup was little heavier on the eyes to resemble a classic 1930′s look. The earrings had an Art Deco pattern that subtly tied with our theme. My bouquet consisted of orange and peach roses, orange ranunculus and peach sweet peas, that were tied to an antique gold satin ribbon with a burnt orange bow. The shoes – were dyed in peach/orange. I bought a pair of vintage clip on earrings to add a bling and also doubled as my something old!

Both ceremony and reception were held at the Guardian Building, in Detroit.

Ceremony – Tissue paper pomanders were hanged from chairs to decorate the aisle. I made the pomanders using tissue paper flowers a la Martha Stewart, and glued them onto a styrofoam ball – about 50-60 flowers were used to each pomander that my husband and I made while watching tv in the evening over the course of a month. Our programs were telegrams, with an Detroit “stamp” on each envelope (the image is blurry but even the date of the stamp matched our wedding date, all done on Photoshop).

Reception – We hanged our escort tags on manzanita branches, with white pebbles in a clear vases to contrast with the black marble of where they were placed. We had candles on the tables, lots of them! The entire room was glowing when the lights went down for dinner. The table linens matched the ceiling and the color flowed with the venue despite the heavy and bold look to it. Our place cards carried the Art Deco elements from our invitations.
The cake design was clean, white on white, with a simple Art Deco pattern. The vintage cake topper is from the 1930′s. Our vintage cake knife (not shown in the pics) was a Depression glass cake knife (all found on Ebay).

The photobooth was a fun project. My husband is a photographer, so he had most of the equipment necessary (check out his page, www.matthewnistor.com – he’s now starting in the wedding business too). We sent 4×6 prints to each guest along with our thank you notes, with directions to where the photos are being hosted.
Pics from the photobooth : www.matthewnistor.com/photobooth

[images by Jessica Johnson]

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Real wedding: Amy + Scott





Amy contacted me last week with some really fun images from her wedding, and was kind enough to describe a lot of details as to what went on with the planning. I’ll let her do the talking! [tomorrow I'll focus on her invitation suite...its pretty extensive!]
I am a floral and interior stylist. I do mostly home and event styling and styling for photo shoots. I am also an artist and designed our entire wardrobe of wedding stationary. The wedding was held at the St. Regis Hotel in Midtown. The venue called for Old New York style – our personality as a couple was far less stodgy. As a result I wanted to convey in the invitations be a party full of joy and celebration.
What is better than a burst of color and the joy of a wedding celebration to bring up spirits in the darkest gray stretch of winter?
The Guests:
Our guests were from all over the world, my husband works for a London based firm and a majority came in from Detroit, Michigan and Knoxville, Tennessee. We had a destination wedding of sorts as almost all of our guests came in from different places. I started the wedding suite with an invitation to NYC with Lady Liberty on it.
Inspiration and Decoration:
Inspired by the first signs of spring my inspiration started with bright yellow flowers of the forsythia branch. Orange and all shades into red became accent colors. Hurricane containers lined the aisle and a floral arch of forsythia was at the alter. The tables were all named after places Scott and I had traveled to in the time we were dating. Our sweetheart table was named Antigua after where we got engaged. The glass containers had sliced oranges lemons kumquats and cran-apples floating in them.
Another cool thing we did was frame a photo of our parents, grandparents and siblings on their wedding day. We displayed them near the entrance of the cocktail party. We also took Polaroid photos of our guests as they came in to the party. We had them sign in on individual sheets with their well wishes. Now we have a beautiful fabric box full of their kind words (that looks great on the cocktail table) as a memento!
Vendors:
I wore Monique Lhuillier, and Red Jimmy Choo shoes. The Cake was Sylvia Weinstock, the band was Hank Lane Orchestra (heavily laden with Motown sounds for my Detroit guests!), video by Milk and Honey, photos by Brian Dorsey Studios, and Magician J.B. Benn for entertainment. Cory Davenport did the floral work for me – I could not face doing it myself… way too stressful!
I did the design on all the paper goods sent throughout the engagement and wedding … the accolades came rolling in on our suite of wedding stationary. I am working on a new part of my design business called papercupp. (homage to my maiden name of Cupp) I hope to help other brides set the tone for their wedding day celebration with bespoke stationary.

[images from Amy, by Brian Dorsey Studios]

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Real wedding: Kathy + Shane



I love the homemade feeling of Kathy and Shane’s wedding….Kathy sewed the invitations and ring pillow herself, and all the colors and pattern tied in with the inspirational vintage cloth. Love it!

[images from Inside Weddings Fall 2007/Winter 2008]

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Color Inspiration




Decor8 recently announced the winners of its Amy Butler inspiration board contest….1st place winner Starlee Matz came up with a great concept that would make not only a killer room but a killer color palette for a wedding. If I hadn’t already set my heart on green and white for my own wedding, then this would have been my second choice. Doing boards like these, (or in this case, a folder) can really help solidify a color palette and overall feel for your event…make it portable enough and you can even bring it along to vendor meetings to get your point across.

[image from decor8]

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