Real wedding: Amber + Joe

jenny ebert photography - embroidered hankie

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jenny ebert photography - seat cards

Its not every day you see a wedding with practically no flowers used…but thats just the case with Amber + Joe’s wedding!  They had some pretty talented family and friends helping them out, but Amber can explain it better…

us: We met in our first class in the graduate program in anthropology at The New School for Social Research.  We were casually disinterested friends for two and a half years before we were in a study group together and realized we were in love.  We decided to get married because we love each other so much, and a wedding seemed like a really good way to celebrate that with the people in our lives.  We both love books (ok, we’re nerds), our friends, and don’t care for impersonal wedding traditions, so we decided from the start that we could make our wedding whatever we wanted it to be.  When things got stressful we would just say to each other, “At the end of this we get to get married!”  Most of all, we wanted everyone to have fun.

Our parents helped us so much, but as struggling anthropologists, we still had a very small budget to work with, so we and our friends constructed, created, wrote, and made every part of our wedding.  It was truly collaborative, and truly us.

jenny ebert photography - ceremony

jenny ebert photography - paper flowers

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Real wedding: Stephanie + Trev p.2

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More from Steph + Trev’s wedding…its all about the cool details!

It would be considered a sin as a graphic designer not to do my own invitations.  I created all of the paper accessories for our wedding, with major help from my friends and family with the assembly.

We created a save the date that embraced the Bavarian spirit of Leavenworth by taking a photo of ourselves in rented authentic Bavarian costumes that really showed off Trevor’s sexy long legs.  haha!

For the invitation I did a simple illustration of two people in Bavarian attire holding hands with the mountains in the background.

Our programs, which doubled as fans were cut outs of either Trev’s or my face on one side and program information on the other.  These led to many great photo ops, including a group shot of everyone at the wedding holding them up to their faces after the ceremony.

Trevor being a sexy bald man wanted to name our tables after bald celebrities, so I created table signs and escort cards that had coordinating bald heads on them. Don’t worry I didn’t forget that Britney Spears was once a bald celeb. :)

For the long road trip home Trev and I made our guests cds to take with them.

A few of my other favorite wedding details were our roadside story and our rubber chicken boutonnière. Instead of spending money on traditional flower boutonnières which I new the guys wouldn’t appreciate we bought miniature rubber chickens and glued them to pins.  It was way more fun and the yellow went great with the ladies’ accessories.

My grandparents house is about 5 miles in on a windy country road with no cell service, so we came up with a way for people to know that they hadn’t gone too far and that they were almost there, a roadside story.  Trev and I bought about 20 pieces of poster board and wrote out a nursery rhyme style story of how we met and fell in love.  The signs were perfectly spaced and lead guests right to the ceremony.  Here is what they said,

This is a story that begins at age 10,
Boy falls for girl. Girl “just wants 2 b friends.”
Boy builds a go cart, she thinks it’s cheesy
However in reality it was off the heezy (for sheezy)
The girl moves on with her life, The boy does the same…
but in the back of their minds…
is the rear section of their brains.
Then their Jr year of high school…
he decided to ask her out…
she obliged with plenty of (crossed out with no next to it) doubt
Their relationship progressed through high times and low…
nearly six years had passed…
and they were ready to give it a go!
The dude got down on one knee…
and pulled out a ring…
which brings you here today…
to Steph & Trev’s wedding.

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[images from Jenny Jimenez]

Jenny Jimenez is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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Real wedding: Stephanie + Trev p.1

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When I saw this wedding a few weeks ago on Jenny Jiminez’s site, I just thought it was so happy and fun, and HAD to show it here on Brooklyn Bride.  I think a wedding is 10 times better when it has a sense of humor…I”ll let Steph tell you all about the great details and day overall…

Trev and I met when we were 10 years old.  My grandma and I were going for a walk in the neighborhood, when I saw him playing on a slip n’ slide.  It was “like” at first sight.  Days later he asked me if I would pick blackberries with him, and I declined claiming that I just wanted to be friends.  We grew up together and were kid version of boyfriend and girlfriend many times (each time ending with an awkward instant messenger chat.)  We started dating again for the last time in high school and 6 years later… he asked me to  marry him!  A little over a year after that, we were married!

We decided that we would get married in a little Bavarian town called Leavenworth about 100 miles east of Seattle where we live.  When I was 3 my grandparents bought a little vacation house there and growing up I spent almost every weekend there.  My grandparents now live in Leavenworth full time and their home was the perfect location for our wedding.

Our wedding was the most amazing week long celebration that started and ended with a leisurely inner tube float down the local river with about 20 of our family and friends.  I have never felt more loved.

Planning a destination at home wedding is no easy task, which is why I hired Michelle Engvall to help me sort out all of the details and organize everything on the day of.  Michelle was fantastic and I can’t imagine her not being a part of our wedding.  Trev and I adore her.

Our photographer Jenny Jimenez was the first person I hired.  As soon as I came accross her blog I new she was “the one.”  Jenny is such a fun, genuine, energetic person and it shows in her photos.  She is unbelievable!

The caterers, Ravenous Catering, served up a pre-ceremony cocktail hour of bite size hour d’oevres and signature drinks (raspberry lemon aid, sprite, and vodka in a mason jar), after the long drive guests were happy to have food and drinks waiting for them.  After the ceremony they arranged a delicious assortment of heavy appetizers such as bacon wrapped dates, sesame prawn skewers, and BBQ Baby Back ribs.  We also had Ravenous Catering bake our wedding cake and cup cakes.  Trev and I are both lover’s of the box funfetti cake, and when we asked them to make a small cake for us and cup cakes for the rest of the guests they looked at us like we were a little crazy.  Some time during the reception the head caterer pulled me aside and told me that she had doubted me on the funfetti cakes, but couldn’t believe how delicious they were and how much our guests loved them.  Needless to say they were completely gone the next day.  Another big hit with the guests was our late night hot dog surprise!  Hot dogs are by far my favorite food, and there was no way I was gunna have a wedding without them. Ravenous cooked the beer soaked dogs in their traeger and mmm… they were perfect!

Salmon Dave, Leavenworth’s local classic rock cover band skipped their family reunion to do our wedding.  They were awesome guys that totally rocked.  In fact at the end of the night after they played their last song, all of our friends and family started chanting “Salmon Dave,” and they were convinced into giving us an encore!  They also did something very special for us, they performed a song with my Papa Jim.  He sang and they backed him up.  Papa Jim also sang me down the aisle with “Love me tender” originally by Elvis Presley.

The Tent was rented from Dynamic Tents, white chairs came from Nancy’s Party Rentals, linens from BBJ Linen, portable restrooms (which were a big hit came from Royal Restrooms, Beer from Cashmere Brewery, Hair and Make up for me and the gals by Liz White, vintage milk glasses, mason jars, cake stands, votives, ribbon that we hung in the trees, and shepherds hooks came from Bella Rugosa.

My dress was actually the shell of a strappy Dessy bridesmaids dress (la belle elaines) that I brought to a seamstress Trish Jens.  She completely reconstructed the dress into my vision… adding the halter strap, adjusting the neckline, adding a bow/wrap, and a petticoat.  I found the most amazing corset at Zovo Lingerie.  The corset peeked out of the neckline of my dress, so Trish found matching lace to peek out of the hemline!  Trish also made my birdcage veil.  My pink shoes were Stuart Weitzman.

[more next!]

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[images from Jenny Jimenez]

Jenny Jimenez is a member of Brooklyn Bride’s preferred vendor listings

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Real wedding: Maureen + Nathaniel p.2

Jenny Ebert Photography 1b

Jenny Ebert Photography 2b

Fast-forward to Part II. Nathaniel and I own a very old colonial home up in the hills of Litchfield County, CT. We found the house together while we were dating, and that is where he proposed. Because the house is in the midst of a large, lush green clearing, it made practical and romantic sense to have our wedding there. The plan was to hold a tented reception starting at 5 p.m. that Saturday, where all of our out-of-town guests would join us for a “country chic” wedding celebration.

Unlike Friday, Saturday was a meteorologic mess. Our vision for the whole evening shifted. I had imagined a second ceremony, with our families processing down our long driveway toward the crowd of guests gathered on our front lawn. I had met with Jenny Ebert, our incredibly talented photographer, to discuss capturing shots of dappled light and interestingly-cast shadows on everyone and everything. I had even considered having a hat made for the ceremony.

Instead, it was dark and damp and sprinkled all day. At 6 o’clock (we were running late), as the last luminary was lit along the driveway to announce our entrance, there was a rumble up above. Just as our van pulled into the top of the driveway (carrying me, the bride, and our two families. Nathaniel was already there entertaining our guests), the skies opened up and proceeded to dump water for the next 8 hours. Thank goodness for our beautiful tent.

As opposed to any sort of graceful entrance, I had to RUN from the van into the tent, under the shelter of 4 umbrellas (thank you, Mom and Dad). My ivory (Amsale) gown was hoisted up around my knees and my blue (Marc Jacobs) heels were soaked through. And there I was met by my handsome groom, dressed in his dapper pinstripe suit (Ralph Lauren- and no tie!) Nothing could have possibly ruined that moment. It was a blast. It made for a very dramatic entrance, and guests cheered and laughed at the whole spectacle.

Nathaniel and I exchanged the vows that we had written to each other, and then he shocked everyone by serenading me with, “My One and Only Love,” once everyone was seated at their tables. Though I had begged him to sing (he has a voice that makes you weak in the knees), he had refused saying he was too embarrassed. It was the best wedding gift I could have asked for.

Because we’re both in creative professions, we tapped into the many resources of our astonishingly talented friends for the party. A friend of Nathaniel’s sang our first song (David Liang of the Shanghai Restoration Project), and accompanied him while he sang to me. Two former graphic design colleagues of mine arranged the seating cards, strung between two birch poles. One of them is now studying fashion design, so she hand-made abstract flower pins for guests to wear on their lapels. My current business partner (Ashley Rosebrook of Rosebrook hats) did the table layout, using different types of ferns, mint julep cups and votive candles, instead of flowers.

We hired a band for the first half of the night, and asked them to exclusively play music from the Big Band era, so the older half of our guests could groove on the dance floor for a bit. The evening had a very “Gatsby” vibe, until our DJ, Michael Smith, took over. The whole energy level and volume went from cozy, swinging and romantic to jumping, shouting…and, well, breaking the dance floor. We actually DID break the band-stand somewhere in the midst of the night, as the younger portion of our guests (and some older, including my father) partied and danced until after 2 a.m. The moral of our story is that rain can not only create “wet knots that are harder to untie,” but a spectacularly fun atmosphere for a wedding.

[Maureen just launched a new site with her business partner called Pinhole Press, so check it out!]

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Real wedding: Maureen + Nathaniel p.1

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Jenny Ebert Photography 1

Jenny Ebert recently sent me the fab wedding of Maureen and Nathaniel, 2 incredibly talented people who just HAPPENED to have 2 weddings in 2 totally different styles.  I’ll let Maureen tell you about it…

Though technically, Nathaniel and I had one actual wedding… we sort of had two.

We were married on a Friday night in June this past summer, at the gorgeous Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue. Our closest local (New York) friends came to witness the ceremony, so it was small and intimate. Thematically our wedding(s) didn’t really have a theme or a color scheme, other than to embrace the surrounding elements at each event. So, Friday night was about chic modernity, with a bit of “sparkle,” to emulate the twinkling lights of New York City. The 8 bridesmaids wore their own dresses— the only criteria being that they either be champagne or pale gold. Nathaniel’s dark grey suit was custom-made and his entourage wore matching ties and charcoal suits, as well.

I wore my Mother’s dress, which was thrilling for both of us. I worked with a local designer, Gregory Nato (who recently launched his own line of bridal dresses called “Fancy“) Because my parents were married in December, my mom’s gown was heavy and long. Very full-coverage. So Gregory and I met numerous times and he totally re-shaped the dress. It was cut to the knee, and he re-built the whole top, including a low-cut back with about 5 of her original buttons. He even cut the train, so I had a short train going down the aisle! I removed it after the ceremony. My shoes were Guiseppe Vanotti, adding some definite sparkle there, as well.

We dined afterward on the roof of 60 Thompson along with our wedding party/spouses and our immediate families. It was a crystal clear evening and everything twinkled as we hoped it would. Our guests enjoyed the spectacular views of New York while they ate a casual but exquisite meal, catered by Kittichai. Overall, the evening was contemporary in look and feel, and everything we possibly could have hoped for in our wedding.

Stay tuned for pictures from the second wedding this afternoon…

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