Real wedding: Diana + Brian




I envisioned the wedding as an old-fashioned formal summer party. Once we decided on the location, Onteora Mountain House, a hilltop bed and breakfast in the Catskills built in the 1920s, other details started to fall into place. The location was breathtaking in itself, with mountain views and a gorgeous reception pavilion. I wanted the details we added to be simple, elegant, and speak to who we are. Early on, I decided on a color scheme of navy and yellow. Navy for the bridesmaids’ dresses and men’s suits, accented with bursts of yellow from flowers and ties. It fit in with the oldfashioned summer party – classy in navy, yet exuberant with warm hints of yellow.

We included only those wedding traditions that resonated with us. It was important to me that things be honest and real, meaning we were actually married that day, and the cake we cut was the cake that was served. I walked down the aisle with my father after descending an outdoor staircase on my own. A local justice of the peace married us, reading the words we’d selected. We did a ring warming, though with 100 guests, the rings only made it halfway through the crowd! During the rest of the night, guests stopped us to warm the rings already on our fingers. Two recently married friends selected readings and read at the ceremony. We decided against a receiving line, and visited all the guests during the course of the evening instead.

As an avid sewer and knitter, handmade details were a natural way for me to put my personal stamp on the day. For the napkins, I selected golden yellow and navy fabrics that had a vintage feel to them. After buying the first four fabrics, it was harder than expected to find more prints that were both the correct color and on theme. Each table had a unique print, either navy or yellow, accented by a solid-color runner. I made all the napkins, inserting little custom tags into the backs that said “Diana & Brian / August 15, 2009”. I hoped the guests would take them home, and they sure did! We only had about eight extra napkins at the end of the night. One of the bridesmaids made the table numbers by cutting out foam-core numbers and wrapping them with extra table runner fabric.

My fiance Brian wanted to get in on the crafting action, so he bought a used typewriter and typed out the names and table numbers on the escort cards. Each escort card featured a bit of the napkin fabric. On the escort card board, the fabrics looked random, but once guests arrived at their tables, they saw that the fabric swatch in their card matched the print of the napkins on their table. Bouquets, boutonnieres, and cake flowers were by Saipua. We made our own centerpieces from potted marigolds and white torenia flowers that grew on our back porch for months before the wedding. Rose at Chelsea Garden Center was a great help in assisting us with the potted plants, helping us to keep them blooming!

The invitations were designed and letterpressed by invited ink. I had seen invitations with fabric sleeves, and that fit right in with our theme. I sent Sally Ann at invited ink a fabric swatch of one of my favorite prints. She matched the ink color and designed a little illustration for the reply card. My mom, sister and I sewed the fabric sleeves and assembled the invitations. At the reception, in addition to the bar, we served beer brewed by my brother. He’s an avid amateur beer-brewer and cooked up two varieties for the event, Schenck Schwarzbier, and Parrington Pale Ale, named for the groom and bride’s last names. Additionally, mixing the two would produce Schenckington Black & Tans, which was suitable because “Schenckington” is a nickname we’ve had ever since becoming a couple.

The photo booth backdrop was made from two Ikea curtains sewn together. Someday I will detach the panels and use the curtains in our home. Almost all our guests came from out of town. For favors, in addition to the napkins, we gave each a bottle of wine from the Hudson Valley. Brian typed out tags and we attached them to the bottles with little knit sleeves. We went by the hotels a day early and left the wine for them. The wedding party plus significant others all stayed with us at Onteora on Friday and Saturday nights. We sewed simple fabric gift bags for each person, placing them on their beds before they arrived. Each contained a pair of handmade pajama pants, soaps from Saipua, and wedding party gifts. I made the pants (20 pairs!) with more navy and yellow fabrics and encouraged everyone to relax and hang out at nightly pajama parties. Amazingly, even though most sizes were based on guesswork, the pants fit everyone.
Photography by Love Captures
Flowers by Saipua
Potted plants with help from Rose at Chelsea Garden Center
Dress by Nicole Miller Bridal
Groom’s Suit and Groomsmen ties by Brooks Brothers
Makeup by LaV Beauty
Invitations by invited ink
Hair flowers by Handle & Spout
Ring Bowl by Paloma’s Nest
Cake Toppers by Goosegrease


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Invitations: Nicole + Jerome

Nicole + Jerome 1

Nicole + Jerome 2

Nicole + Jerome 3

Nicole + Jerome 4

Nicole + Jerome 5

Nicole + Jerome 6

Nicole + Jerome 7

Nicole and her husband Jerome designed these invitation booklets last year for their wedding…very cool right?  She tells me the printing was relatively cheap from Dazzle Printing, so if anyone else has worked with them, lemme know how they were!

[images from Jerome Daksiewicz]

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Hey NJ, lets help Dawn

Lets team up everyone and help Dawn from NJ find a cool place to get married!  Leave any tips below in the comments…thanks!

I don’t know if there is anyway you can help me or not but I love your website and am always looking through it so I thought it may be worth a shot contacting you. My fiance and I are having the hardest time finding a venue/wedding site we like in NJ..specifically the northern, NJ areas.  I know you are a brooklyn based site and brooklyn is actually where I am from but we recently moved to NJ so we want to stay closer to our home. We want something simpler and modern and we definitely don’t want the typical wedding factory vibe.  I would love a farm/barn or great garden style site but we can’t seem to find anything.  Any ideas?  Any info you might know of to help us find our dream site would be greatly appreciate! Thanks in advance for your time!

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Studio tour: Paloma’s Nest

studio doves and boxes

I’ve been a big fan of Caroline’s ever since Paloma’s Nest came on the scene…her personalized bowls are my go-to for bridal and shower gifts, so I was thrilled she agreed to show us around her studio!  Thanks Caroline!

Name: Caroline Colom Vasquez
Location: Austin Texas
Company: Paloma’s Nest
What is your aesthetic? Pure, nostalgic, and traditional -in a non-traditional way.
How does your studio style convey your professional aesthetic? Lots of windows and stained glass allow for plenty of sunshine. Vintage and antique pieces are repurposed and adapted for daily, modern use. Calming color palette gives a sense of controlled, peaceful chaos.
Favorite part of your studio? The shipping room, where all of the finished work is gathered to receive the finishing touches, and to be  wrapped in brown paper boxes and tied up with string….these really are a few of my favorite things!
Where do you go for inspiration? To sleep. My best ideas come to me before dozing off for the night.
What tool do you use in your business that you can’t live without? My collection of vintage stamps. I even have some stored in a safe-deposit box.
Is there anything you’d upgrade to? I’d love to move the business into a charming Victorian house with plenty of room for everything- our production studio, shipping department, and an office of my very own. A grandiose dining room table for company lunches and meetings would be terrific, too.  Someday.

studio inspiration board copy

studio kiln

studio waiting to pack

studio packing room

studio stamps

studio office

[images from Paloma’s Nest]

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