Real wedding: Jayne + Steve

sleek wedding dress

Now that Spring is almost upon us, this wedding is making me SUPER excited for warmer weather, and 501 Union was the perfect place to hold it!

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[images from Jacquelyne Pierson]

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Real wedding: Amy + James

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pink and red bouquets

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From the bride:
James and I met at a mutual friend`s wedding in Osaka, Japan.  We both noticed each other but I was the first to approached him and we really hit it off.  We connected on so much from the beginning–our deep connection with Japan, our curiosity, our passion for a good challenge, and a priority of always having a good time. At the time, I had just moved from Oregon to start a new job in California and James was living in Korea, so after we had this amazing meeting we both had to go back to our respective lives.  James was very good about keeping in touch and a couple months later, he moved to California.  I had never done anything like this, and I thought at times, “Is this nuts?“  But we felt so sure about it.  We were (and still are!) so in love. A year after we met, James proposed to me on the bathroom floor (that’s a whole other story!), and it totally caught me by surprise and I was elated!  Soon after, we decided to move to Osaka together, where it all started, and also where we currently live.
Although we currently live in Japan, we were set on having our wedding in Oregon, where I grew up.  We have many loved ones there and Oregon is so beautiful, we couldn’t imagine having it anywhere else.  This made planning a bit interesting at times, but thanks to my awesome friends, it worked out beautifully.
Our wedding day was like a dream. A really amazing dream that we didn’t want to end! We kept it small and celebrated with our closest friends and family. Our ceremony was held outside at Howell Territorial Park on Sauvie Island, and 20 minute drive outside the city.  The park used to be a private residence, along a dougfir grove, apple orchard, and farmhouse.  It feels very natural, personal, and earthy. James’ brother played the guitar while leading the wedding party, and grandma accompanied James down the aisle which moved James to tears. My dad walked me down the aisle, it was all so meaningful and emotional. The whole thing was so memorable especially because for only the duration of our vow exchange, it poured rain. A downpour! It was unexpected and we had to move into the trees and everyone was soaking wet. But it was so magical–to be standing in a grove of dougfirs with all of our loved ones and only the sound of rain and the smell of the forest surrounding us. We loved it!
We headed back downtown for our reception, that was held at The Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. A very beautiful venue that has an industrial and vintage feel to it, and a clean palette perfect for making our vision come to life. James and I put a lot of personal touches into it–we had old family photos, we sewed and shibori-dyed the table runners (with big help from my dad!)–a special homage to my cultural background, we picked out the wine ourselves, and we also had our instant camera that we use a lot that doubled as our guestbook sign in.  We wanted to carry on the feeling of our outdoor ceremony to the indoors, so we had lots of greenery in addition to the beautiful flowers.  Our dinner was made with local and seasonal ingredients, we had delicious carrot cake, everything was amazing. We had so many loved ones give toasts that were so moving, we probably dried up our eyeballs of tears for about a year to come! I accidentally shoved the cake up James’ nose which confused him and made him choke–and while I was feeling a bit bad about that, he got me back good. James’ friend who is a DJ made us a mix that got us all dancing, even grandma. The entire evening was lots of laughing, goofiness and fun.  It was such a personal, heart-warming day.

Planner: Social Hour Events
Florals: Selva Floral Design
Venue: Ace Hotel / The Cleaners
Cake: Le Cookie Monkey
Rentals: Something Borrowed
MUA/HAir: Studio Luxe

[images from Hazelwood Photography]

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Real wedding: Skylar + Murty

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Getting Ready Location: Box House Hotel in Greenpoint
Photographer: Jacquelyne Pierson
Dress: ceremonyJ Crew  reception-Jenny Packham
Hair Accessories:  I re-worked my mom’s veil and hand-sewed it on a veil comb
Hair: Martha Ellen at Head Chop
Henna: Mehndi NYC
Flowers:  bride’s bouquet, corsages and boutineers  from Rose Red and Lavender
marigold garland (altar) and mango leaf garland from Fancy Florist
Green Garland (altar) from Everleaf Decorative Greens, LLC
centerpieces and other flowers– Flowers from Chelsea flower district and arranged by the bride’s mom and sister
Cake: friend of the bride and groom’s  Pies: Petee’s Pie Company
Catering:  Sips and Bites
RingsBride- Anna Sheffield
          Groom- Bario Neal
Groom’s Attire: J Crew
Stationery: Designed by Sara Gossett
DJ: Carl Hamm of Richmond, VA

[images from Jacquelyne Pierson]

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Real wedding: Brittany + Brian

muir woods elopement

While modern venues are usually my favorite, its hard to deny the beauty of Muir Woods for a simple yet stylish elopement in nature…

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Photographer:  Milou + Olin Photography//Dress Designer: BHLDN//Event Venue: Muir Woods Park Community Association//Makeup Artist: Nikol Elaine Makeup Artistry//Floral Designer: Studio Choo//

[images from Milou + Olin Photography]

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Real Brooklyn wedding: Gabriella + Sam

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Getting married at Juliette in Brooklyn is like getting married on a little rooftop in Paris…such a lovely spot and a great venue for smaller, intimate weddings.

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From the bride:

We had a warm, intimate 80-person wedding in a cute little French restaurant in Brooklyn called Juliette. We wanted a place that felt special but also felt like us, and that we could return to in the future. Juliette has such an inviting, whimsical atmosphere that felt festive and elegant, but also relaxed and unpretentious, and it really set the tone for our wedding–more of a dressed-up dinner party with dancing than a very formal occasion. Merriment was the order of the day. Because Juliette has so much decor already (thankfully, because we’re not very DIY-savvy) we added very little of our own beyond our colorful flowers and a few personal touches–framed photos of our parents and grandparents taken when they were young couples; old postcards from around the world that served as a guest book; table numbers hand-painted by a friend; and Brooklyn soaps and candles as souvenirs. We tried to be unfussy in our planning of the day, and to focus on the things that would be most enjoyable and memorable for us and for our guests: fun music, good food (and pie and ice cream!), and a joyful atmosphere. We also were lucky to have a wise, funny officiant as a friend, and to have some lovely, sweet speeches from our friends and family. I think these are the sorts of things that people remember the most. We also made a point of choosing vendors that we felt were doing great work in our local area; after all, this was an excuse to introduce our friends and family to some of the wonders of NYC! Despite the cost of weddings in the city, we were really glad that New York was a place many of our guests wanted to visit and that has public transportation everywhere–no concerns about how people would get home after drinking and dancing well into the night. And we were also really happy that we organized a drinks event the night before the wedding and a picnic in Washington Square Park the day after since it gave us the opportunity to show our guests a few more of! our favorite neighborhood spots and we had more of a chance to talk with everyone who came.

My biggest advice for brides and grooms planning their wedding is to let go of the idea that your wedding has to be an encapsulation of everything about who you are as a couple, flawlessly executed in every way. It can just be an exciting, fun day to celebrate the two of you and the community of people you’ve built around you who love and support you. There is so much information about weddings out there these days, especially for brides, that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by every choice you have to make, and each one feels weighed down with so much significance. My advice is, when you’ve looked into something and you’re happy with it (a florist, a dress, a husband!), just go with it. You don’t need to explore every option, which can sap the fun out of everything. Keep things light and focus on how the occasion will feel and on really being present, grateful, and at ease on the day itself. Think about it with the distance of years ahead–what will matter to you to remember?! Spend your energy–and money–there. Looking back, my favorite memories from the day are everyone laughing and having fun, and these funny, unexpected pairings of people who met and became friends at our wedding.

Also! Give yourself enough time to plan. We had more than a year, and we were so happy to be able to occasionally say, “we’re not going to think about the wedding this week.” It’s also really useful to have a confidante (my mother, in my case) who doesn’t have an agenda and is just there to be helpful and supportive, and to look after things on the day itself. A few stable people in the mix can make a huge difference since weddings bring out a lot of craziness!

Hotel: Wythe Hotel
Venue: Juliette Restaurant
Makeup/hair: New York Bridal Hair
Florist: Molly Oliver Flowers
Dress: Lovely Bride (designer:Rosa Clara)
Invitations: Minted
DJ: Joel Davis/All City Sound
Pies: Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Second Photographer: Karli Cadel

[images from Miho Aikawa]

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