Real wedding: Joanne + Ethan

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Yesterday you all had a chance to check out the awesome engagement shoot of Joanne + Ethan…well today you get to see the wedding! So many beautiful moments captured by JL Photografia, it was hard to pick which pictures to show!  Joanne talks about the day below…

With an impending cross-country move, Ethan and I did not want to deal with the fuss and expense that comes with a big wedding. We considered eloping to an exotic locale, but over the course of our engagement we realized how important it was for us to share our wedding day with our friends and family.  Towards the end of June 2009, we started planning for an intimate and relaxed wedding in California to follow our move back to the San Francisco Bay Area. We chose Carmel-by-the-Sea primarily for the Basilica at the Carmel Mission, an active Roman Catholic parish church that also serves as a lovely and historic museum. Serendipitously, the next available date the Mission had available was October 31 – the day we had met six years ago, and our favorite holiday to boot! We booked the date immediately and started looking on the Internet for a reception venue.Wanting to keep the reception as uncomplicated as possible, we chose to hold a lunch reception at Katy’s Place, an adorable little restaurant that is widely hailed as Carmel’s best breakfast joint. The tiny restaurant only seats about 50, so we reserved the whole restaurant and let our guests choose from their extensive menu (which features sixteen kinds of Eggs Benedict! Eight kinds of waffles!) It was perfect, laid-back, and delicious.

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Though we did away with anything we deemed unnecessary (décor for the Basilica was like bringing sand to the beach and driving our own cars was way simpler than booking limos) it was important for us to preserve our family and cultural traditions. In addition to the something old, something new, I walked down the aisle with a sixpence in my shoe as a nod to Ethan’s British heritage. Instead of changing into something short and flirty for the reception, Ethan and I both donned hanbok, traditional Korean attire that was a wedding gift from my parents. We worked in a little pyebaek ceremony on the deck of Katy’s Place. In the pyebaek, both sets of parents throw chestnuts and jujubes into the outstretched skirt of the hanbok to symbolize their wishes for grandchildren. We improvised with walnuts instead of jujubes, which our parents threw with an uncompromised gusto. As a finale to the reception, Ethan gave me a spirited piggyback ride through the restaurant. The piggyback ride is meant to symbolize the groom’s obligations to both his bride and the mothers, but both our moms declined the offer ;)

(more…)

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Real wedding: Sharon + Chris

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I always knew Shake Shack had exceptional burgers, but who knew you could fall in love there too?!  It sure made for some great pre-wedding photos for Sharon & Chris, thanks to Maggie Harkov!  Sharon gives all the details below…[make sure to check out the gorgeous lace on her dress!]

US: Chris and I met one fateful summer at LAX airport en route to a cultural exchange program in central China. We bonded over the joy of eating sheep stomach soup, yak yogurt and grilled lamb kabobs. We love to eat! Back in the US, we started five years of long-distance courtship (me in NYC, he in Maryland).  On Valentine’s Day 2009, Chris proposed in front of our favorite burger place, Shake Shack, at Madison Square Park.

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THE WEDDING: On our wedding day, it only seemed natural for us to have our first embrace in front of Shake Shack. Not even a rainy October day prevented us from getting a burger to eat (and shake to drink!) on the biggest day of our lives. We even had a personalized wedding cake topper of us feeding each other a Shake Shack burger and shake…that’s how much we love the place.

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Real wedding: Alicia + Adam

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Let me start this all off by saying I LOVE Alicia!  She used to work at Seaport Flowers and helped put my wedding together with the team there so when I found out she was getting married, I knew it was going to be awesome.  And was I disappointed?  Not a bit!

Having met in Brooklyn even though both had southern roots, they decided to get married at the Boathouse in Prospect Park.  Their wedding was CHOCK full of DIY projects, from the pennants and escort cards, to Alicia making the bouquets and redesigning her wedding dress from JCrew!

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Art as favors…the couple screenprinted and frames art from Adam of birds in the region.  Each was unique!

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A table runner of pompoms and vintage glass vases filled with flowers like ranunculus, hydrangea, lilac, sweet pea, dusty miller, peony, queen anne’s lace, spirea, garden roses, agapanthus, billy balls, football mums, baby’s breath, and yarrow, all in yellow and white.

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For more details from this wedding, check it out in the latest issue of The Knot, on newsstands now.

[images from Maureen Davis Photography]

Seaport Flowers is a member of the Brooklyn Bride preferred vendor listings

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Real wedding: Andrea + Jeff

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I can’t tell you how much I love weddings that really have fun with with the seriousness of everything!  Clearly, Andrea and Jeff had a totally awesome time putting their wedding together, and it absolutely shows in these pictures!  My favorite details has GOT to be the “just married” sign on her wheelchair…genius!  Andrea explains all the other details below…enjoy!

THEME

Us! We wanted the wedding to show our personalities fully – we wanted it to be fun, with bright colors, quirky touches, as well as eye catching details as my new hubby, Jeff, and I are both graphic designers and thus slaves to aesthetically pleasing everything!

The main color was granny smith apple green (which is my favourite) as well as black and white. We wanted it all to look great and contemporary but we also wanted a casual feel since me and Jeff are anything but fancy.

CEREMONY

We planned an outdoor ceremony, which, in Edmonton, AB can be precarious; however, the weather came through for us and the day turned out perfectly! We got married in a park under a big tree. We hung Martha Stewart white paper flowers from the main tree as well as the trees entering the secluded park area. We also had a lemonade stand with lemon squares and a big ‘LEMONADE $.10 FREE’ sign, t-shirts that our lovely (and arguably, slightly lazy) ushers made with our large mugs on the front and arrows pointing to which side was who’s, and my favourite detail, a super tacky ‘JUST MARRIED’ sign complete with plastic green flowers around two hearts and dangling cans for the back of my wheelchair.

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RECEPTION

We very nearly didn’t go see this venue, but luckily at the last minute decided ‘why not?’ and fell in love with it instantly. It was a blank slate with white walls which were perfect because I knew I wanted decals from What Is Blik as my wall decor – there are so many designs and so many custom color options, I’d recommend everyone look into them!

We also had fake mustachios I bought online at some children’s store waiting at the front table when people arrived. We figured we could save them for just the photobooth, but this way they were enjoyed all night –  a bunch of people just kept the mustaches on all night, some got creative and made eyebrows and beards out of them – they turned out great, broke the ice, and definitely made the wedding more casual and fun.

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MUSIC

My darling husband asked me to marry him with a stickman country music video called ‘Don’t Rollover My Heart‘ – how could I not say yes to that? We chose to walk into the reception with the song playing.  It was awesome because the majority of  our guests had seen the video and could hum along and it was a great start to the evening!

For the reception we went the iPod DJ route. We made a playlist with a bunch of songs we wanted to hear and asked our friend Joff to DJ and add whatever songs he felt would get the dance floor going. As a thank-you, we bought him an iPod DJ mixer which made things run smoother and apparently was lots of fun for him.

INVITATIONS/STATIONARY

As I mentioned above, I am a graphic designer at Paper Leaf Design and thought who better to sum up us and our wedding on paper than I? Rather than a monogram we decided on a ‘love birds’ logo for ourselves; this detail, as well as others from the invitations, were carried on throughout all of the stationary which tied everything together perfectly.

My two favourite stationary ideas were the table numbers on large glass water bottles – pretty and practical – as well as our seating chart. Instead of a bunch of different pieces of paper on aboard, we designed a big seating chart and printed it on poster board. It was a fun detail when people entered the reception.

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DECORATIONS

As I mentioned above, our main decorations were the decals on the wall from What Is Blik, they really brought a touch of fun and tied everything together.

For our centerpieces I knew very early on in the planning stages that I wanted tall vases filled with granny smith apples, then I found the glass bottles and knew I wanted to put table numbers on those, and that just didn’t balance well together so then came in the short vases with hydrangeas – a great accident!

The black table clothes were quite a bit more expensive than the free ones that came with the venue; however, we only had 105 people, so not many tables (this was my justification to Jeff) and they made the tables look so much richer – I stick by my decision!

Lastly, the green napkins! I was a stickler for everything being the right granny smith apple green – not so easy! Luckily my glorious bridesmaid Teira is a seamstress and was able to take the right color material and sew together 120 napkins, 4 table runners, and as a surprise, a few throw pillows to go on the black couches in the lounge!

FAVORS

We lucked out with many talented friends who were so helpful in so many aspects – one of those people was our friendly neighbour chocolatier! We’ve known Jacqui for years and knew that our favours would definitely have to be her Jacek Chocolate! We had green tea infused chocolates with a green jewel on top as well as a milk chocolate ganache in a dark shell with white chocolate drizzles on top. So tasty!

CAKE

We got the cupcakes from Fuss Cupcakes – super amazing and tasty local cupcake shop. We went with cupcakes, 1/3 chocolate with cream cheese icing, 1/3 chocolate with chocolate butter cream icing, and 1/3 vanilla with cream cheese icing. We had little signs coming out of the different kinds of cupcakes, and the different colors of icing and cake mirrored the colors of the wedding perfectly.

My very favourite part was the extra large cupcake on top of the cupcake tower. It was extra cute and I think made the cupcakes all the more special.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography was another area of talented friends and knowing who we’d be going with even before we got married! We went with Leah Rae Photography – I had know Leah for almost 10 years, she’s a super talented photographer and I knew she’d capture every moment perfectly. The other great thing about having Leah was that she knew me, so I could rest assured she wouldn’t be awkward to direct around my wheelchair as I’m sure some might be.

The other half of the photography was our friend Gravy – he was Leah’s second shooter, but he also did our photo booth shots. He did a grand job and made sure he got just about everyone in the photo booth over the course of the evening.

We were very fortunate to have these photographers! They made us look good :)

FLOWERS

The bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages for the bridal party and family were all done by Eden Lilly. They are amazing and awesome people… and they’re pretty good florists as well I suppose :) The bouquets were made with green hydrates and white freesia. My bouquet was wrapped with green ribbon and had a tiny picture frame which I bought from Etsy with a picture of my Aunt hanging from the top.

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BRIDE & BRIDESMAIDS – My wedding dress and all of the bridesmaids dresses were all designed by a local designer Kelsey McIntyre. The bridesmaids all designed different dresses but had them made out the same material to keep a unified look and still having dresses they’ll wear again (the green on them is removable). The differences in the dresses but having the same material looked so sharp and all the girls looked amazing!

My hair piece was from the lovely Twigs & Honey on Etsy – it was exactly what I wanted!

GROOM & GROOMSMEN – Jeff and the groomsmen dressed fairly casual opting for no dress jackets and wearing checkered vans instead of dress shoes. The guys then had ties made out the same material as the green from the bridesmaids dresses and the white from my dress which looked great!

EXTRAS

Ceremony Venue: Forest Heights Park

Reception Venue: Shaw Conference Centre

Hair: Teira Highet from Sylvia & Co

Make-Up: Jenn Kowton

Bridesmaids Presents:

Jewlery – Polli

Lunchboxes – The Macbeth Collection

Day-of-Wedding Coordinator – Jacqueline at Events Unfolded

Rentals: Infinite Event Rentals

[images from Leah Rae Photography]

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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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