Real wedding: Melissa + Howell

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Jeremy Lawson sure knows how to shoot weddings!  This Chicago affair with lots of personal touches is definitely one to check out….Melissa (the bride) gives all the details below…enjoy!

Melissa Mann + Howell Winters
November 14, 2009
Cafe Brauer
Chicago, Illinois

Venue: Growing up in Lincoln Park, Chicago, I used to jog by this Prairie style park building nearly every day.  After meeting Howell while we were both working in New Delhi, India and welcoming him to our world, he quickly became part of the neighborhood run.  It seemed only natural to get married there.

Flowers: We had no theme or colors or anything, just wanted to highlight the natural beauty of the venue.  But by the time I met with our florist, The Flower Firm, I knew I wanted to go for lush greens – bursts of ferns, succulents and calla lilies.  The room was accented with spot lights and votive candles.  I’m still blown away at how the room glowed and looked glamorous yet natural.

Caterer: Blue Plate Chicago.  Howell is from Nashville; we met in India – we were going for a for a low-country-Indian fusion fare – they totally delivered.  Yummy mini chicken biscuits, lentil soup shots, amazing naan and corn bread madeleines…the list goes on.

Wedding cake: This was a tough one.  We love cake and took this decision seriously.  Ultimately we went with Sarah’s Pastries and Candies.  To. Die. For.  We had a combo cake of carrot and almond with creme brulee filling along with an assortment of cookies and cupcakes – red velvet, ones with black-and-white cookie tops – the works.  Mom bought cupcake towers on Amazon.com to make the display look more bakery/sweet-table-esque. We thought we ordered too many but they were gone in minutes.

Invitations/Menus: I cannot recommend Andrea at Float Paperie more.  She helped us craft a modern and playful look for both.  Super fun and patient to work with; totally reasonably priced.

Dress: I loved my dress. Everyone loved my dress.  I felt uncomfortable in most salons – wanted something sexy, playful and modern.  It was all thanks to Carla at Vwidon.  Stylish, elegant, one of a kind.  Howell wore a tailored Theory suit.

Music: Music played a central part of our wedding – we put a lot of thought on how we could most reflect us as a couple through songs we love:  Friends gave us blessings using lyrics from Queen to My Morning Jacket.  Dustin at Toast and Jam made it happen and even edited our REM/Bloc Party processional/recessional music.

Wedding Planner: At first we were skeptical but I have to say that we couldn’t have done it without Rachel at Blush and Bashful.  They’re not your typical wedding planners – very hip, perfect for the not-so-bridey-bride, yet uber professional and totally organized.  Rachel kept us calm when we needed it most.  B&B was one of the best investments we made.

Hair/Makeup: I actually found Morgan Blaul right here on Brooklyn Bride.  Had never met her but loved her site and professional work – sexy, playful, natural – and pretty much booked her on-site.

Photography: Jeremy Lawson took our breath away.  I hate my picture being taken and was freaked out by the whole wedding photography process.  But taking photos around town with Jeremy was one of the highlights of our day.  He’s so fun to work with and his photos are to die for.  If you like the ones here book him now.

Other stuff: We really wanted our friends and family to have a blast – It was a last minute decision but the folks at 312photobooth were amazing.  Its a great idea in lieu of a formal guest book and everyone LOVED it.

Personal touches: My grandmothers are no longer here but I wanted to find a way to have them with me down the aisle.   I took one of their antique shoe clips, took it to Left Bank in Lincoln Park, and they transformed it into an amazing hair piece.

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[images from Jeremy Lawson Photography]

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Real wedding: Josie + Adam p.2

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As promised, here are some great little detail shots from Josie + Adam’s wedding…all the info can be found in this mornings post.  Cotton ball boutonnières? Love it!

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(more…)

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Real wedding: Carrie + Jonathan

September 27, 2008
Oratory Church of St. Boniface in Brooklyn
Bubby’s in DUMBO

Theme: Jon and I are both journalists and truly love the city, particularly Brooklyn, where we make our home. So we thought our wedding would be the perfect opportunity to showcase the borough for our friends and loved ones. Crafts — particularly needlework — are also a huge part of my life, so I wanted to imbue our wedding with lots of personal, handmade touches. Most of all, we really wanted to the day to be a celebration and feel like us — down-to-earth, even silly, but full of heart.

Setting: For our ceremony, we feel really lucky to have discovered the Oratory, which is tucked into a block in downtown Brooklyn. It’s a small, cozy Catholic church that strives to make everyone feel welcome. It was the perfect place to exchange our vows. For our reception, we very quickly settled on Bubby’s in DUMBO. The views are simply unbeatable, particularly during the cocktail hour. (Plus, we really wanted a fun, accessible menu — and you don’t get much more fun than fried chicken, pecan-crusted salmon and macaroni and cheese.)

Decor: We chose the color combination of chocolate and aqua — or “chocqua,” as we affectionately call it — early in the process, and I let it guide the rest of our design decisions. I had been toying with the idea of having our guests throw pompoms at us since I saw the idea in Martha Stewart Weddings, so when I saw these invitations by the White Aisle, everything came together. I got the invites, table numbers and escort cards in this motif, which reminded me of pompoms. My mom, mother-in-law and I made hundreds of “chocqua” pompoms (my made 400 herself!), which were thrown at us and also used to decorate the table. I also tied pompoms to a little card at each place setting, explaining that we would make a donation in lieu of favors. A lot of guests took the pompoms home with them, and we have a vase displaying the leftovers.

I didn’t want any artificial aqua flowers, so Carmine at Flowers by Emil used off-white spider mums — which reminded me of pompoms — and brown lotus pods for my bouquet and the centerpieces. (My bouquet also
had orange unique roses, just to add a little more color). Aqua table runners and “chocqua” lanterns bought on ebay brought everything together.

Dresses: My dress was by Mikaella and made of Chantilly lace, the same fabric that my beloved grandmother wore when she was married. While the lace is old-fashioned, the neckline is frayed and ragged, giving
it a more modern look. I wanted to be kind to my wedding party since traveling to New York is pricey enough, so they chose any J. Crew dress in espresso. Jon bought his suit at Brooks Brothers. I struggled to find ties for the men that brought all the colors together and finally found them — in Australia. But they were so inexpensive that we basically just paid shipping.

Photography: Jennifer Shea was our main photographer, with Stephen Strutt as the second shooter. They were so understanding and flexible and fun — it was misting all day, nearly ruining our chances of
taking pictures under the bridges. Anyone who says rain is good luck on your wedding day is lying. But it cleared just long enough for us to race over to the park after the ceremony, and they were such
professionals about it. Even though my hair fell because of the humidity, I’m glad we took the risk. (And luckily, I found four aqua umbrellas two days before the wedding at a hardware store on Court St.
— the employee gave me a discount because we were getting married!) The dance floor pictures are totally priceless! I also really have to credit Christine Viola of Exquisite Affairs Productions, who basically saved me from a hundred panic attacks.

Ceremony: We really cared about creating a ceremony that represented us. We spent a lot of time finding Bible readings that would speak to all of our guests, including one that mentions crafts (Proverbs 31 —
“She obtains wool and flax And makes cloth with skillful hands“) and chose the Gospel reading about Zaccheus, a childhood favorite of mine because I’m short. We also wrote our own vows, which is unusual for
Catholic weddings, as well as several smaller parts of the ceremony.

Music: For our ceremony, we really loved the idea of strings for most of the Mass, but this required a lot of extra work. Hire Conservatory Alumni worked with us to personalize the service and transcribe music
traditionally played on other instruments. I walked down to the aisle to “Anne’s Theme” from “Anne of Green Gables,” which sounded so beautiful in strings. And for our processional, they played an
instrumental version of U2’s “Beautiful Day.” It was just perfect. For our reception, we used the Downtown Band from Hank Lane, who were a total blast.

Personal touches:
I knew immediately that I would knit and crochet shawls for my bridesmaids, which was a wonderful way to really relax and focus on our friendships before the wedding. I picked a different pattern for each of my girls, crocheting two and knitting two. For the groomsmen and our dads, I sewed boutonnières out of different “chocqua” fabrics, so each one was unique. People told us not to bother with programs,
but I always love reading about different traditions and following along with the service when I’m at weddings. I designed them myself, had them printed locally and included personal stories about us and our wedding party, as well as this poem by ee cummings. I also made a cake topper that looks alarmingly like us.

What I couldn’t make myself, I bought on Etsy.com because I really wanted to support independent artists. Myra at Twigs and Honey made my hairpiece, but I ended up swapping the center flower out and adding
one that matched our colors more. I bought cute flower earrings from Luxe Deluxe, and our ring holder, which was engraved with the same ee cummings poem, was from Palomas Nest. (Sadly, this got lost at the
reception!) I wore my mother’s pearl bracelet and carried my grandmother’s vintage handkerchief; Jon wore his grandfather’s cufflinks. And we bought our rings at Clay Pot in Park Slope.

[images by Jennifer Shea]

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Jonathan Adler salt + pepper sets

At the gift show a few weeks ago I spotted these adorable new salt+pepper sets from Jonathan Adler…they’d make great engagement gifts, cake toppers, figurines…pretty much they’re good for anything you can dream up!

[images by Brooklyn Bride]

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i heart brooklyn designers: Goose Grease



Its been a while since I’ve done one of these, but sure you’ll agree it was worth the wait. Michelle is the designer of Goose Grease, and creates these ADORABLE wooden figures that would be perfect as a cake topper, especially since she can customize them to look like you! All are priced so reasonably, I’m totally ordering a bunch for myself. [via Julie + Todd]

[images from Goose Grease]

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