Want to have your mind blown? Lucas made a majority of the flowers in this wedding! What a crafty husband you have Katie!!
Looking back at the evolution of my wedding, I’m still amazed at how perfectly it went. We had originally started planning something way more traditional. I hadn’t ever put any thought into what I might want my wedding to be so when it came time to start planning, most of what was going through my head was “Well you’re supposed to do this…” As things progressed, a lot of “this” wasn’t in the budget. We had some major disappointments letting large parts of the initial plan go. Once we were able to work through these disappointments, we realized it wasn’t what we really wanted anyway. It also wasn’t very us. I have to say, having a limited budget really forced us to be creative and make the wedding ours. It kind of gave us the freedom to just go for it. It also gave me some perspective – I wanted the wedding to be just a really good time for all involved and as stress free as possible. I am extremely grateful for all of this.
The biggest decision we then needed to make was do we try to go with vendors for everything (way less stressful – way more free time) or do we try take a lot of it on ourselves (way more affordable – way more nerve racking). Work had slowed drastically for me to the point that I was more or less unemployed. This would mean we wouldn’t be able to afford anything additional but that I would have a lot of free time. Plus given that I majored in art (photo) and had been working in production, I really felt the only way to make it mine was to attempt to create as much of it as I could. We decided to do what we could and go with vendors where it mattered.
After that, everything just fell into place. Elisabeth Millay was the first vendor we hired – even before we had a final date or a venue. Once I saw how amazing her work was, I wanted to book her a quickly as possible. She was a little out of our budget (even though she is way more reasonably priced than most) but was very willing to work with us to bring the price down some. We opted to skip the engagement session. We decided on the Metropolitan Building as our venue for both the ceremony and reception. The second floor was beautiful and ornate without being pretentious. This meant we wouldn’t need to deal with a lot of decorating or staging. As part of the space rental, we were allowed to pick antiques that we would like to use day of and this helped save a lot on rentals and having to construct pieces. We went with Sage Events for the catering as their food is absolutely unbelievable. Seriously. Try the mac n cheese at the Sage General Store and then try to fathom that ALL of your food will be this good. Leslie really worked with us to fit as much as we could into our budget. We still had passed hors d’oeuvres and a sit down dinner but we opted for only two courses so that we could afford an open bar. We had the wedding cake for the dessert course. Sage coordinated the rentals and vendors day of so that was one huge thing taken off our plate. Mandy with DJ Gaza was our DJ and was really awesome. They were really affordable to begin with and after meeting with them we had no question that they were the ones for us. We hired the best people possible and didn’t have to worry about one thing on our wedding day. Collette Foley made the cake and when we couldn’t decide on a final design that we liked the best, she just took care of it and it. was. awesome. Weeks later, we are still hearing how it was the best food/music/cake/photograph/etc they had ever experienced not only at a wedding, but anywhere.
So with all of that taken care of, Lucas and I took on the rest of it mostly ourselves (mainly because I didn’t want to involve other people in our insanity). We spent about 8 months making all of the flowers (most of which was done by Lucas while watching either Predator or Die Hard or something explode-y). I really wanted to attempt to make the bouquets out of fabric despite my very limited sewing experience. I’m really happy with how they came out, but not so happy with procrastinating and finishing them the day before. The graphic design elements were the most stressful as it’s not something that I do so it’s always a struggle. Regardless, the invites came out great. We also tried to reuse as much as we could from around our apartment – some of the vases for the centerpieces, letterpress cards I had collected over the years for the guest book, beads for the centers of the flowers from costume jewelry that had belonged to my grandmother, etc. This all made everything way more personal. We did enlist some help from friends and family. My sister and Lucas’s brother were maid of honor and best man. We tried to keep their duties to a minimum as the week before the wedding was crazy with final details and they helped tremendously with that. Our dads performed the ceremony and our moms made and assembled the favors. Any element that wasn’t created by us was usually altered in some way to make it more us. I went the Kleinfeld route for the dress but had it altered to show the tulle in front and the veil was altered with a different feather piece from the original. We kept some of the standard vows but added some including video games and cartoons and other silliness to make them our own. Sickness and health? Sure! But marathon video game sessions and weird stuff the cat does? Now that’s commitment. If we couldn’t find or make something to fit – it didn’t happen (this really only meant we didn’t have a cake topper, which we didn’t care about anyway).
In the end it was worth all of the effort, stress, insanity and having our apartment turned into something of a sweatshop (which we’re still trying to get back in order). The day was perfect. It came out exactly as planned. We received kudos from some of the vendors for being so organized. We weren’t the least bit stressed and everyone had a really really really great time. We’re still surprised at the number of people that told us it was the best wedding ever. We’re just happy that our guests had as much fun as they did and everyone got out of it what we put in to it. We wouldn’t have changed a thing.
Caterer – Sage Events
Photography – Elisabeth Millay
DJ – Mandy Graves with DJ Gaza
Cake – Collette Foley
Dress – Priscilla of Boston
Veil – Castle Bride Couture
Shrug: – Louise Broad
Make Up – Stacie Ford
Hair – Jean Barton
Ties – Cyberoptix Tie Lab
Brides Shoes – JCrew
Groom & Best Man Suits – JCrew
Bridesmaid dress – Anna Elyse
[images from Elisabeth Millay with Jonathan Young]
Elisabeth Millay and Jonathan Young are members of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings