Real wedding: Heather + David

David and I planned to have our wedding ceremony and reception in Costa Rica, for our love of the sun and surf, and invite our close friends and family to witness our union under the chuppah and celebrate with us. But as it turned out, our family had some exciting events that would prevent a few close family members from joining us. So, in an effort to include everyone closest to us in our celebration, we decided to have 2 wedding celebrations: a religious ceremony and reception in Costa Rica on May 12, 2009, and a legal ceremony and dinner on April 5, 2009, which would be a small gathering of just the immediate family, and my best childhood girlfriend, to be held in the garden of the private residence of David’s father and step-mother in Marin, CA. We were fortunate to have David’s 96 year-old grandfather, who is an internationally-known Rabbi, officiate our legal ceremony for us, and have our closest family members in attendance, totaling 16 people.

We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. The weather was warm, the sun was shining, and love and joy were all around us. I wore a spring-time white, halter dress from BCBG and fuscia colored, satin heels from Stuart Weitzman. David wore a custom button-down shirt by Ascot Chang, pants from Banana Republic, a belt from The Hound, and shoes by Auri Footwear.
The florals were arranged and presented by Main Street Florist, San Anselmo, CA, the Costa Rican inspired menu was prepared and served by Stacy Scott Fine Catering, San Rafael, CA, the wedding cake was designed and created by Shin Min Li of I Dream of Cake, San Francisco, CA, and our photography was shot by Janet and Lisa of JL Photografia, Monterey, CA.

Main Street Flora Gardens(415) 485-2996 

Stacey Scott Fine Catering – 415-455-8181

I Dream of Cake - 415-989-2253

JL Photografia – 760-494-5894 serving northern ca + available for travel

[images from JL Photografia]

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Real wedding: Brynna + Eric

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).

Vendors:

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]

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Real wedding: Helen + Eric

The Ceremony:
We got married a few Saturdays ago on what was the most incredibly beautiful day of the year yet! Somehow we completely lucked out and it was 80 degrees, sunny and just gorgeous. Our ceremony was held on Linden Terrace in Fort Tryon Park way uptown by the Cloisters Museum. Being a public park, the masses were out enjoying the beautiful weather so we had a slightly larger audience than we expected. But it just made the whole thing more special. Eric designed my engagement ring and we both designed our wedding bands at Fitzgerald Jewelry (formerly Studio 174) in Williamsburg. Owner Michael Fitzgerald brought our ideas to life and was so great to work with, so helpful and just a sweet guy.

The Reception/Venue:
The reception was just down the path at the New Leaf Cafe. It started it off with cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres and our signature drink, an Italian strawberry liquor and sparkling wine cocktail. Then it was time to eat! Dinner was just amazing, we chose the New Leaf not only for it’s amazing location but because having great food was really important to us. If you’re looking for a wedding venue or if you’re up in the neighborhood, I highly recommend checking them out, they use seasonal ingredients so the menu is always changing and is always fresh and delicious. The restaurant did an incredible job setting up and the service was fantastic. Tiffany Hogan is the Event Coordinator for the New Leaf and she was just amazing. Throughout the whole planning process, she was very helpful and responsive to all my random questions and was a pleasure to work with.

Cupcakes:
For dessert we had mini cupcakes from Kumquat Cupcakery. We happened upon them at the Brooklyn Flea last year and I made a mental note, must get them for the wedding! Keavy is the owner/baker and she’s awesome. Her cupcakes are just too cute, bite size and the perfect balance of cake to frosting ratio. The cake is moist and delicious, the frosting is perfect, not too sweet, not too buttery, just right. By far the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. She set up all 300 cupcakes and the presentation was amazing. She has great flavor combinations, some seasonal ones, but will also create custom flavors for you on request.

Flowers:
As for the rest of the details, we had originally wanted to diy as much as we could and we did do a lot ourselves but we realized about a month or so before the wedding that there was no way we’d be able to do the flowers ourselves. So we went to Sprout which we’ve been to many times just shopping for plants and home stuff. They had done a wedding for some friends of ours so we went to talk to them about doing ours. Tassy and Lea were great, we had a basic idea of what we wanted and they really worked with us to come up with something special. We made the birch bark wrapped vases and dropped them off at Sprout the week before. I had also been making paper confetti from flower shaped craft punchers and they took care of setting that up on the tables for us as well. I kept looking around and couldn’t believe how great it all looked! The flowers were gorgeous, the bouquet, the centerpieces, the boutonnieres and corsages, everything was perfect. They have an amazing aesthetic, are so easy to work with and the store is fantastic.

Photography:
And last but certainly not least, our photographer Kimberly Hurst. Kimberly is fantastic, an amazing photographer and so sweet too! We loved her portfolio, her sense of lighting and composition and then we met her and just felt really comfortable with her and that sealed the deal. We’re pretty photophobic but she made it as painless as possible for us and we couldn’t be happier with the results.  She was great with capturing the candid moments and the more set up shots as well. She and her assistant Candice went above and beyond and were so helpful throughout the whole day. They were with me every step of the way before the ceremony, helped to keep me calm and they even helped me track down the rings when I realized they weren’t with our officiant! She’s such a talent, and I’m so thankful I found her, and thankful to the wedding blogs where I found her!  I  can’t thank everyone enough, we were both beyond happy with the way everything turned out and it was the most incredible day…

dress:
Nicole Miller
http://www.nicolemiller.com

rings:
Fitzgerald Jewelry
174 N 11th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211
http://www.fitzgeraldjewelry.com/

hair/makeup:
Aki at Commune Salon
191 Grand Street Brooklyn NY 718.384.7412
http://www.communesalon.com/

location:
New Leaf Cafe
One Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 212.568.5323
http://www.nyrp.org/newleaf/

flowers:
Sprout Home
44 Grand Street Brooklyn NY 718.388.4440
http://sprouthome.stores.yahoo.net/fldese.html

cupcakes:
Kumquat Cupcakery
info@kumquatcupcakery.com

photographer:
Kimberly Hurst
kim@kimberlyhurst.com
http://www.kimberlyhurst.com/

[images by Kimberly Hurst]

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Real wedding: Sayumi + Boulos part 2

CAKE: Sayumi’s college roommate Anna-Marie Farrier designed and made the multi-tiered origami-crane wedding cake.

PHOTOS: Nicole and Brad Wolf of SOTA DZINE. We first came across Brad and Nicole’s work on Brooklyn Bride. Smitten by their breath-taking editorial-style shots that bring the wedding photograph genre into the realm of art, we called them as soon as we were engaged. We found ourselves having the time of our lives working with them to tell a little story about love through these photographs. Their creative energy is absolutely infectious, and their sense of humor keeps everything real, even when we are trying to create something surreal together.

VIDEO: friend of the bride, Nam Nguyen (http://www.elevenland.com/)

DRESS: Kenneth Poole, tailored to fit by Vanessa Nirode of Brooklyn

MAKE-UP: Tamaki Arayama gave Sayumi marathon-length eyelash extensions, and hooked her up with a bling-errific gemstone French manicure

HAIR: Takashi of YUI Salon (323 West 11th Street in Manhattan)

MUSIC: Boulos’s brother, guitarist Tariq Harb (http://www.myspace.com/tariqharb), provided the reception music; avant-garde jazz pianist and producer Tonino Miano (http://www.toninomiano.com/), set the tone with music at the church

FLOWERS: InBetween Greens (www.inbetweengreens.com)

CATERING & RECEPTION VENUE: The incredible staff at Ici Restaurant provided seamless service and even managed to make a leaky roof situation disappear within minutes

ARABIC SWEETS: Oriental Pastry on Atlantic Ave. provided the Arabic kunafeh dessert

CONVERSATION STARTERS: Sayumi’s friend, writer and French Literature Professor Thangam Ravindranathan at Brown University selected and printed quirky quotes on love and marriage by writers such as Balzac and Khalil Gibran

FAVORS: We made our own personalized wedding favors – they were sake “masu” cups made of cedarwood and stuffed with Jordan almonds. On one side was an antiquated Japanese character for “One,” and on the other side we branded our logo which spells “Boulos” and “Sayumi” in Arabic calligraphy intertwined with
each other. The boxes were manufactured by a company from the same town in Hiroshima where Sayumi’s grandfather once worked in the sake business. Available for sale on e-bogu.com

DÉCOR: Countless friends and family endured crash-courses in origami-folding to produce the crane decorations made with paper & ribbons from Kinokuniya bookstore and Kate’s Paperie.

[images by SOTA Dzine]

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Real wedding: Sayumi + Boulos part 1

download fast and furious 4

Nicole from SOTA Dzine sent me this gorgeous wedding recently that I’m excited to share with you…this is just part 1!  Sayumi was nice enough to share some background into the day…more pics and details at 1pm.
Our lives intersected fatefully in Philadelphia on October 22, 2005 where we were both completing our Ph.D.s at UPenn: Boulos was studying Theoretical Computer Science and Sayumi was researching her dissertation in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. May be it was the alphabetical proximity – Jordan is usually the country that is listed right after Japan, their flags flying next to each other in the wind at Rockefeller Center. Computer Science after Comparative Literature. Whatever the case, each of us in our own way were tracking down alphabets and languages, looking for something. Admittedly, we are an unlikely pairing, like the edamame-hummus sandwich we once ate at Mange Tout organic cafe in New London, the town in which Sayumi currently works as Assistant Professor of Asian Studies. But we have kindred souls linked through ESP foodie stomachs. Is it any surprise that we first met at a sushi-dinner party thrown by mutual friends, a gathering to which we were over-determined to attend? For our wedding, we selected a restaurant (http://www.icirestaurant.com/) that shared the same love of healthy, fresh, locally-grown, ecologically-sustainable seasonal food made with love. We knew that everything they cooked up would be absolutely divine, and with rare wines hand-selected by the owner to go with the meal, how could one go wrong?

What links us beyond the food we share are our core values, molded from the experience of growing up deracinated (Sayumi as a Buddhist Japanese girl living in the Bible Belt of Alabama; Boulos as a Christian-Palestinian in Muslim Jordan, and then in post 9/11 USA). Despite having been raised in different religious traditions (Sayumi eventually converted to the Orthodox Church in 2008) and despite the difficulty of enduring a long-distance relationship for the bulk of our courtship (our jobs had separated us over nine hundred miles for two years) we knew we just couldn’t let each other go. We wanted our wedding to reflect our multi-cultural mix as well as our overcoming of distances, and guests travelled from Jordan, Japan, Switzerland and Australia to celebrate with us. We chose cranes as our leitmotif – according to Japanese tradition, cranes are migratory birds that symbolize longevity and are said to fly with their mates for life. We were married on a drizzly Sunday on February 22, 2009 at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Brooklyn, and celebrated with a reception dinner at Ici Restaurant near Fort Greene Park. We had been planning to hold a large 300-person wedding at the Dead Sea in Jordan in May, but unforeseen family circumstances spurred us to switch gears and opt for an intimate 40-person pre-Lenten affair right here in Brooklyn where we have been living the last couple of years, and where we got engaged. We had to pull off a wedding in NYC in less than six weeks! We owe it to our friends, each of whom chipped in in some way, for making the day what it was.

[images by SOTA Dzine]

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