Our wedding was November 8, 2008 in Central Park and unfortunately for us, it absolutely poured that day. When we were in the cab pulling up my husband was on the phone with our photographer who said there was probably no way he could take pictures for us since everything was outside. We had a pretty nontraditional wedding by inviting only our immediate families up here to NYC and getting married in Central Park. We went to dinner in the Lower East Side that night and then met up with friends for drinks that evening. It was intimate and perfect. The only issue is that we didn’t get any pictures done professionally. A couple weeks after the wedding we thought we picked a good day to do a photo shoot so we went for it. It was 30 degrees that day! We went in Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. I wanted to share in case these were appropriate for your readers and given your blog title, I thought I’d pass along.
[images from Duhon Photography]
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]
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]
Have you guys been checking out Thoughtful Day lately? Erica just got back from her fabulous wedding in Jamaica (can you say jealous?) and has been posting some fun images….she’s way more on the ball than I am…
[images from Thoughtful Day]
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