Real wedding: Jenn + Chris

I love brides that take a chance on their wedding dress…especially when its a gorgeous Carmen Marc Valvo number!

Chris and I had our wedding in my parent’s beautiful tree lined back yard in Fairport, NY in June 26th. There was some rain but it was a perfect spot for an outdoor wedding. We had a big tent with a small dance floor. We wanted the wedding to have a handmade kind of feel, and used paper lanterns, handmade origami objects we made ourselves, tea lights in pretty cupcake cups and wild flowers in vintage blue Ball jars to decorate. The flowers came from generous local friends who arrived with buckets of local wild flowers before the wedding. My sister Amy arranged the flowers and created bouquets with wild sweet pea flowers. My dress was a miracle, it was a gown by Carmen Marc Valvo found on sale (75% off!) at Bergdorf Goodman‘s in NYC. The color was perfect for me, I didn’t want a white dress and I loved the cut and tiered layers. Chris’s clothing and shoes were from Barney’s in Boston, his suit was by Jill Sander.

We really wanted live music for our wedding and found a fantastic band from Boston willing to travel out to Fairport. They played bluegrass and covered a few songs we requested, including a song during the wedding ceremony.

Our phenomenal photographer Levi Stolove did an amazing job capturing our wedding, his energy and eye for detail come through in his pictures.

It was a great day, we were really pleased with everything!

Vendors:

Tent – www.mccarthyevents.com/
Catering – www.fiddleheadconcepts.com/
Cupcakes, cookies – www.onegirlcookies.com/
Lanterns – www.asianideas.com/
Music – www.goldenbandweddingband.com/
Cake topper – http://www.etsy.com/featured_seller.php?featured_user_id=5062087
Letter press invitations, coasters – www.bigwheelpress.com/
Jewelry – www.lushmetals.com
Tea lights, platters, napkins – www.ikea.com

[images from Levi Stolove Photography]

Levi Stolove is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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Real wedding: Katie + Lucas

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.

Vendors:

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

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Real wedding: Laura + Jeremy

I’ve missed seeing a good ole modern affair at The Viceroy…you can never go wrong with yellow, black and white!

“You know that a couple is destined to be together when they meet so far from home in San Diego, California. Upon realizing they shared the same Australian accent they next discover they grew up in the same leafy suburb, their sisters were childhood friends, and they even almost attended the same school! It seemed it was fate that two paths that took so long to cross, had finally come together, even though they were almost certainly parallel for so many years.

bridal party

Not only did Laura and Jeremy meet, it wasn’t too long before romantic sparks led them to their dream Wedding at The Viceroy, Palm Springs. Blessed by an audience of ninety of their closest friends and family, the couple wed on April 7th 2010. Guests were welcomed to the exotic desert location from countries as far as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Fiji, the Maldives and of course around two thirds of the guests who hailed from the couples homeland, Australia.

Within the beautiful setting of The Viceroy, the couple featured a truly global inspiration of their details. Some of these included; fans hand carried from Singapore; Red Wine and assorted candies for the guests from Australia; a beautiful crisp Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand; and flowers, cakes and decorations from local Palm Springs vendors.  The couple held their ceremony, reception and recovery brunch all on site at The Viceroy, the rehearsal dinner the night before welcomed all guests at a local restaurant, Matchbox. Many of the guests however decided to arrive in San Diego a week prior, making the festivities truly a two week celebration.

bridal party

For the honeymoon, the couple enjoyed a week at the W on South Beach Miami, before another week at the glorious Ladera resort in St. Lucia. Truly a couple who enjoy seeing the world, they depart the US after a three corporate posting for their next corporate posting where they will live in Bali and then Singapore for the next two years!

Hayley Green’s photography of the event has been enjoyed by friends and family worldwide, enjoying her keen artistic eye and attention to detail. The perfect set of most wonderful photo’s to document the most perfect wedding.”

lemon centerpiece

Vendors:

Suits are by Ralph Lauren.

Flower and decorations is Artisan Events Palm Springs.

Coordinator is Jessika Fauls at the Viceroyeroy.

Dress is by Paloma Blanca.

The cake was from Pastry Swan in Palm Springs.

[images from Goode Green Photography]

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Real wedding: Molly + Raphael

I’d love to attend a low-key, relaxed feeling wedding like this one at some point in my life…good food + good music = great marriage!

For our wedding we knew we wanted good food and good music and we wanted to make our friends and family feel welcome. We tried to focus on these big goals instead of sweating the small details. We delegated lots of things to our very helpful Mothers. (My mom took care of the tent rental and favors and seating chart, and Rafael’s mom found the mariachi band.) We were really lucky that our wonderful friends all chipped in and helped as well. Our old friend Molly Neuman did the incredibly delicious catering (we had tacos and margaritas), another friend, Justine Heilner, did the gorgeous flowers, and yet another talented friend Nicole Lang-Key made our delicious cake. With all this great help we were able to relax a bit and enjoy the evening.

Vendors:

Dress: Gabriella New York Bridal Salon – Dress designed by Renella de Fina.

Photos: Kelly Guenther

Catering: Molly Neuman/ Simple Social Kitchen

Flowers:  Justine Heilner

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Real wedding: Raakhee + Agan

In case you didn’t follow my tweets last weekend, I spent the holiday weekend at my dear friend Raakhee’s wedding!  These pictures are by no means professional in any sense, but since I had never attended an Indian wedding, I just had to share some with you!  I was so impressed with the sense of tradition and ritual in the ceremony and even down to the dances at the reception the next day, but my favorite part had to be the colors!  I’m so used to seeing weddings stay relegated to 2, maybe 3 colors, but here we were immersed in every color of the rainbow, and they all worked so beautifully together.

Congrats Raakhee & Agan!

There were bracelet and bindi “bars” where guests could load up on color and jewels…

A quiet moment among us bridesmaids…

The groom’s side wore turquoise turbans, and the brides side wore orange.  What a combo!

For the reception, Raakhee changed out of the pink sari her mother wore for her own wedding and into this stunning Naeem Khan peacock gown!

[images from Brooklyn Bride and Chad Broussard]

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