Real wedding: Amanda + Jeremy

I caught glimpses of Amanda’s wedding on Facebook, so when she sent me the pictures to post, I jumped at the chance!  Its so sweet and simple, and I love that she did all her own florals, and thought about the personality of each bridesmaid for their bouquets.

What is special about a wedding is that it allows every detail and choice to reflect your personality. When Jeremy and I began the planning process we knew right away that we wanted to keep our guest list small and have a relaxed and informal wedding. We call Brooklyn home and we wanted our out-of-town family and friends to experience the best of Brooklyn as they celebrated with us.

A neighborhood garden on Bergen Street served as the perfect location for our ceremony and a pre-ceremony cocktail hour. We served fresh fruit and cold drinks and Jeremy and I were able to greet each person as they arrived. After everyone arrived we invited them to stand near us for the short ceremony. Afterwards everyone walked over to the Flatbush Farm for an amazing meal.

As a florist, I love so many different flowers and it was tough to decide what I wanted to use for the bouquets and centerpieces. My personal style tends to be very clean and simple, and I don’t like too many flowers mixed together. My bridesmaids carried bouquets of all one type of flower that I thought fit their personality. Jeremy wanted his boutonniere to be a dark flower– so I used a great summer flower called scabiosa. My bouquet was a bunch of white astilbe. For the centerpieces I filled mason jars with hosta leaves, fern, chamomile and millet grass.

Vendors:

Brides’ ring: St. Kilda
Grooms’ ring: Fly Rite Tattoo
Favors: black & white cookies from Mazzola Bakery
Officiant: Rev. Charles Gilmore
Photographer: Marisela Vargas
Flowers: QuatreCoeur
Reception dinner: Flatbush Farm

[iages from Marisela Vargas]

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Real wedding: Jenny + Patrick

Its kinda fun that the whole jumping off point for this wedding was the groom’s love of biking!  Jenny can tell you the rest…

The two things Patrick and I knew we wanted for our wedding was a photo booth and macaroni and cheese.  Beyond that, our inspiration came from fun, down-to-earth wedding blogs and our own person style — which is  something along the lines of a mid-century mash-up with contemporary flair. Ha! We wanted it to feel vintage  inspired, without being overdone. Like a big family meal, with simple decorations and flowers. What we ended  up with was beyond our imagination. The evening was beautiful.

Patrick & Jenny: In Motion from Aaron Hawes on Vimeo.

Vendors:

Venue: Les Bourgeois Vineyards
Cake: Cakes with a Personal Touch
Wedding dress: Nicole Miller
Bridesmaids dresses: JCrew
Groom’s tie: Cyberoptix Tie Lab
Flowers: Kent’s Floral Gallery
Photobooth: Photobooth StL
DJ: Aaron Rose
Hair: The Marc

[images from Hawes Photography]

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Real wedding: Katherine + Johnny

Katherine + Johnny in my mind had the quintessential Brooklyn wedding…a gorgeous ceremony under the Brooklyn Bride, reception at a fabulous eatery, and lots of wonderfully handmade details!  I am DYING over her gorgeous dress and veil, made by her talented friend Bobby!

Johnny and I were married on June 12 in our beloved Brooklyn. We wanted to have a low-key wedding and a great party to celebrate with our family and friends. We planned everything ourselves, using internet resources like this one for inspiration. It took a lot of work and some networking skills (thanks friends and family!) but we think we achieved our goal of an intimate, personal wedding with fun details that did not totally break the bank.

We had such a wonderful time at our wedding. We felt lucky that we were able to plan an event that felt right for us. It truly is one of the most amazing days of your life. To all the future brides out there good luck and have fun!

Vendors:

Officiant: Hilda Gieco
Location: Brooklyn Bridge Park
Reception: Frankie’s Sputino 457
Music: Annalisa Ewald
Mustaches: Whisker Works
Guestbook: The Handmade Boutique
Dress & veil: Bobby Frederick Tilley II
Hankerchief: Hank & Tillie
Photographer: Daniel Krieger
Cakes: Nine Cakes
Flowers: Opalia Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Fresh Face Forward
Jewelry: Romancing the Bling
Rings: made by a family friend
Vintage key favors: Sugar Letter
Invitations: We Heart Paper Letterpress
Day of Coordinator: Melissa McNeeley

[images from Daniel Krieger]

Daniel Krieger is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings.

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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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