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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Real wedding: Jen + Eric

bride getting ready

A few months ago I shared with you Jen + Eric’s engagement shoot by the super talented Micah Dahlberg, and now I’m to share their wedding!  Jen gives all the details below…

US: Our story is a little like a classic Romantic Comedy, which is seemingly appropriate considering our addiction to film. We met in college, I was studying Musical Theater and he Acting. We saw each other in the Green Room quite often and while we were there became good friends. Each of us was harboring a crush on the other, but we both graduated without a date night ever taking place. After college we went our separate ways, but came into contact a year later via that old classic MySpace. We began chatting again and finally went on that first date…..a month before he was leaving to live in England. We were as you say, “hooked on each other” by that point and spoke everyday for the next 5 ½ months. I flew out to England the week of Valentine’s Day and we spent 2 weeks romping through London and the English countryside. Eric decided to move back to California and 4 months after we returned we moved in together. The rest as they say…is history.

The Wedding: It all seems like a blur now, but when we first started planning we both agreed that we were NOT having an over-blown wedding. So imagine our excitement when his family offered us their gorgeous backyard for our big day! We wanted a simple, relaxed and classy garden wedding….but it’s funny how all those tiny details conspire together to make a giant mess. Some ideas fell by the wayside, but in the end we had a gorgeous wedding, with perfect weather and all our family and friends there to share our happiest moment.

The Attire: They say once you find the dress the rest falls into place. When I put my dress on for the first time I knew the hunt was over. It was just so free flowing, not puffy or pretentious, it suited who I was perfectly.  The wedding party attire followed in the same vein, we wanted our attendants to be comfy and not over-dressed. I absolutely love the way the suspenders and Chuck Taylor’s looked with the clean lines of the girl’s dresses. Eric looked so handsome in his classic suit, it was as if he walked right out of a Cary Grant movie.

Food and Flowers: A good party for us means delicious food, great drinks and fantastic music. BBQ is one of Eric’s favorite foods so once we tasted Wood Ranch we knew we had found our caterer. Playing off of the old-time theme, we ordered old-fashioned sodas and put them in hand-painted painted tubs and wheelbarrows.

Luckily the backyard already had so many gorgeous and vibrant flowerbeds we didn’t have to use too many extra flowers. My favorite flower, the hydrangea, inspired the blue that was used throughout the wedding. It also served as the flower of choice for my bouquet. I chose Gerber daises to accompany the hydrangeas and as the primary flower for the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the centerpieces. The fantastic St. Germain’s flower shop did all of our stunning floral arrangements.

Neither of us have ever been a big fan of wedding cake; therefore we opted to have a dessert table instead. This way people could have a choice and it gave us an opportunity to use our favorite bakery, Crumbs. My wonderful mom also baked her famous Cheesecakes. The cake topper was completed the night before when my first idea fell through, Eric’s Aunt helped me with the idea. Glad I had so many childhood photos of us lying around!

Tables and Toys: I am a very crafty person and even though I told myself I wouldn’t get over my head with projects… I did. 😉 I further incorporated the old-time feeling by layering paisley and hydrangea blue cardstock with hand-stamped numbers, finished off with a raffia bow. Raffia was also used for the bows on the centerpieces, place cards, hand-painted signs and to tie the bouquets. The kid’s toys were made to satisfy my crocheting addiction. Once I learned how to make these little animals I wanted everyone to have one, but I limited it to the children, although I would have made 100 of them if I’d had the time.

Lights: The evening light was very important to us, we wanted the kind of light you would see on an old Main Street at night. We cleared stores shelves of twinkle lights and lanterns. Our parents and siblings hung lights for what seemed like days, but the final effect still remains so beautiful in my mind and in photos.

Our wedding was everything we could have dreamed of and more. It was full of love, laughter and beautiful memories thanks to all the help of our family and friends. We are so thankful we had the amazingly talented Micah and Megan Dahlberg there to capture every second with their cameras. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do!

[images from Micah Dahlberg Photography]

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