Real wedding: Sunray + Gene p.1

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Goodness, what a darling wedding this is!  Sunray’s mom did a lot of the adorable details, which makes it even more special!  Keep reading for details from the bride and groom, and check back at 1pm for more shots…

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In planning our wedding, what we looked forward to the most was seeing our families and friends. We knew that many of them will be coming from far away so we wanted to make this experience as fun and joyful for them as possible. Sure our wedding was about us but we wanted to make sure that they will have a good time as well.

Being from two different backgrounds, we decided to skip most of the traditional details from both sides and make the wedding our own. We designed and took care of most of the details ourselves to make sure that the wedding was a reflection of us and our personality – it also saved us a lot of money.

We couldn’t have asked be a more perfect day. The weather was nice, the food was delicious, music was great and everyone had fun.

Venue: Hakone Japanese Garden, Saratoga, CA – Hakone.com
We picked the Hakone Japanese Gardens because it felt intimate and private. While searching for a location, we came across many parks and gardens that felt too open. The Hakone garden was just the right size for us and it is closed to the public after 5pm. The venue was able to accommodate both the ceremony and reception which was a big plus since we didn’t want our guests to drive to a different location after the ceremony. We also liked that our guests can roam around the beautiful Japanese gardens while we do the formal photos with our families.

Photographer: Jesse Leake – JesseLeake.com
Sunray was a fan of Jesse’s work even before we were engaged so as soon as we were set on the date and location, we booked him. Jesse and his assistant, Emily, were fun and easy to work with. They seemed to be everywhere to capture the right moments without being intrusive.

Catering: Parsley Sage Rosemary Thyme – psrt.com
We opted for casual and fun hors d’oeuvres – mini burgers with sweet potato fries, mini tacos and mini pizzas. The dinner started with baby greens and strawberry salad then main dish options of beef filet with chimichuri sauce or steam snapper with Thai red curry sauce. The kids were served a fantastic macaroni and cheese with chicken nuggets, which were also popular with the adults. We still receive complements till this day on the great service and food.

Wedding Cake: Sprinkles Cupcakes – Sprinkles.com
Neither of us are big on cakes but we do love Sprinkles cupcakes so it was an obvious choice. We ordered extra for our guests to take home.

Bride’s Dress:
Nicole Miller

Bridesmaid’s Dress:
BCBG

Groomsmen’s Vest: JCrew

Shoes: A $5 find from Thailand with handmade decorations by Sunray’s mom

Groom’s Suit:
Zara + JCrew

Invitations: Hand bounded by Sunray’s mom (toy@designbytoy.com) with supplies from Paper Source – Paper-Source.com

Escort Cards: Handmade by us.
Both of us love to travel so we named the tables for our favorite spots and used some photo booth pictures as table signs. We bought inexpensive number stands from a restaurant supplies store and spray painted them to match our color scheme. We organized the handmade escort cards in vintage library card drawers. The cards were made to look like mini scrapbook pages unique for each table. As guests look for their names they get to see the different photos and memories of us throughout the years. It’s like looking through a box of old pictures.

Photo Booth:
PhotoWorksInteractive.com
Gene proposed in a vintage photo booth in San Francisco so we use photo booth pictures wherever we can. We also had a photo booth at the wedding for our guests to take pictures as favors. We brought props to encourage the silliness. Sunray’s stepdad made thought bubble notepads for guests to write notes on and use in the photos as a prop. At the end of the night, we got a copy of every picture taken and an album full of scrapbook pages made for us by our guests.

Boutonnieres:
Handmade by Sunray’s mom – toy@designbytoy.com. Inspired by Martha Stewart’s Button Blossoms – http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/article/button-blossoms?autonomy_kw=button&rsc=header_14

Ring Pillow Box:
Handmade by Sunray’s mom – toy@designbytoy.com. Inspired by a DIY project at OnceWed.com

Rings: Custom made by Anna Andersson – AnnaAnderssonJewelry.com

Necklace: Handmade by Sunray’s mom – toy@designbytoy.com

Flowers and Centerpieces: Angela & Corinda Wong – Friends of ours

Hair and Make Up:
Jade Jutara – Sunray’s sister – jadejutara@gmail.com

DJ: DJJeremyProductions.com
We asked Jeremy to play cover songs done by Vitamin String Quartet during dinner and top 40 mixes when the dance floor opened. Everyone danced the night away and the dance floor was packed until the last song.

Mini Cards: Moo.com
We set up a Flickr account for our guests to share pictures taken at the wedding. The login information was given to guests on Mini Moo cards with our baby pictures printed on the back.

Cupcake Stands
We made the cupcake stands ourselves out of plates, teacups, and candle stick holders found at thrift shops held together with epoxy.

[images by Jesse Leake Photography]

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Real wedding: Clover + Trae

Hey everyone!  I’m back from the west coast all nice and relaxed…it was MUCH needed!  I owe Audrey a huge thank you for taking over the blog last week!  I was definitely checking in on all the great stuff she was sharing, so thanks Audrey!!  Lets jump right in with this fabulous wedding from Jenny Ebert, shall we?

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When Jenny sent me this wedding, I truly fell in love with it.  Its just so fun and personal…I especially love the group shot…every wedding should try to get one of those if possible!  I’ll let the couple tell you the rest.

Though Trae and Clover had long ago rid themselves of careers in advertising, it was their roots on Madison Avenue in the late 90s that ultimately brought them together through mutual friends.  And perhaps a little irony.  Neither had ever planned on ad jobs.  Both had come to Manhattan in 1995 – Clover with a degrees in art and biology, Trae a life-long theater actor – and quickly got caught up in the economic boom of the end of the century in marketing.

By the time they met in 2005, Clover had reinvented herself as a biology teacher in the NYC school system while Trae busied himself working in regional theater and with his NYC ensemble.  A year later they bought a place together in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.  A year later they were engaged in the Moroccan Sahara.  And the year after that, in 2008, they were married in the beautiful flower-filled gardens of Clover’s parent’s home in New Rochelle.

Their home was the perfect spot for a wedding.  Occupying the site of an old Huguenot homestead, her folks live in what used to be the stable on an acre lot.  Clover’s mother, Lake (a master gardener), has transformed the grounds to storybook beauty in a variety of different gardens.  And it is breathtaking in July.  Their vision for the wedding was down-home simplicity – an old-timey, Gatsby-esque garden party.   Tables draped in white linen and were topped with orchid & succulent filled bell jars created by Lake.  Small, individually potted succulents staked with the guests names served as seating cards and also take-home favors.  Horseshoes were thrown in the Zen garden while an old black and white polaroid booth was set up for the guests to photograph themselves for the guest book.  The theme was carried through with old wood type printed invitations created by a graphic artist friend of Clover’s.

Clover wore a beautiful Vera Wang dress with Faryl Robin shoes highlighted with flowers from the garden.  A fiddle player played  Appalachian gospel music as she walked down the aisle under a canopy of flowered branches held overhead by the members of the wedding party. Trae chose the classic summer simplicity of a Brooks Brothers Seersucker Suit with stripped bow tie, white saddle oxford shoes, and an Edwardian collared shirt from NY’s Lord Willies.   The guests, all asked to dress in white and supplied with white Chinatown parasols, danced under the light filled weeping willows while a 20’s style speakeasy band played old standards.

Food and drink were an exercise in eclecticism brilliantly executed by Good Food Good Things Catering of Darien, CT.  And they were challenged.  Clover’s favorite Brazilian Churrascaria meats were coupled with iced oysters on the lawn and Trae’s favorite Austrian white wines.  A simple red velvet wedding cake from Make My Cake in Harlem continued the old-timey garden party theme as did the antique ice cart filled with Mexican ice creams from La Flor de Michoacan in New Rochelle.

At once simple and theatrical, Clover and Trae’s wedding was an ode to each of their eclectically creative personalities.  A evening not to be forgotten.


[images by Jenny Ebert Photography]

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Real wedding: Emily + James

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Emily won the Blurb contest a few months ago and sent me her recent wedding, which totally blew me away!

We both knew from the very beginning we wanted our wedding look to be simple and modern but with some vintage touches that would coincide with the venues we had chosen. We decided to go with a color palette of grey, chartreuse and moss green, we felt this would be fun and springy but also clean and modern. Our wedding was no doubt a family affair, the invitations, signs and seating cards were made by the bride’s sister (with pouch production help from mom), the wine bottle stopper favors and ring bowl were made by the bride’s dad, bridesmaid tote bags and hours of traveling and hand holding by the bride’s mom, the guest book was designed by the bride and groom using Blurb. It was very important to us to personalize our day and we were successful! Throughout the night we heard several guests say “this is so you two.”

The planning process centered around our ceremony site. Being huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans the we knew Unity Temple would be the perfect place to be married, the architectural details are stunning. Sadly, it has now been placed on the most endangered buildings list, we hope this amazing piece of history can survive. From there we found Pleasant Home just about a mile away which is a historic mansion designed by George Maher, what a great compliment to Unity Temple and also showcased our love of architecture.

It was also important to us to make sure our wedding was loads of fun. Badminton in the lawn, mashed potato martinis, board games for the kid’s table, using our iPod as our DJ to play our favorite songs and the Polaroid guest book with props definitely accomplished this. It was clear everyone had a great time.

One of our favorite details were the vintage flower pins we found for all the groomsmen and the custom ties. We searched eBay for various flower pins and sprayed painted them all white, we loved this look and we also loved that they were more eco-friendly and cost effective than traditional bouts since they can be used again. We searched high and low for store bought ties for the groomsmen with no luck. We were thrilled to find Etsy seller Me & Matilda who could create custom ties for us. Fabric was from Premiere Prints.

Non-traditional bridesmaid dresses were found at Ann Taylor Loft for a steal ($75 each) and custom green belts were made in moss green.

AMAZING VENDORS:

Catering – J&L Catering – the food was delicious, we got so many compliments and they accommodated us on all our special needs (vegan, gluten free).

Photography – Chennergy – the groom being a novice photographer himself, www.flickr.com/jpanegasser, felt photography was one of the most important elements to splurge on and we are so glad we did, Dan Chen and David Lai did an amazing job and captured the great moments and emotions of the day.

Flowers – Blumgarten – At first we were hoping to save on flowers  but the bride’s mom felt otherwise being an avid gardner most of her life. Mom does know best because the flowers were breathtaking.

Invitations, signage, etc. – The bride’s sister, lauramwilliams.com. Her background is in packaging design, web design, corporate identity and logo design but clearly she has the talent for invitation design as well.

Transportation – Windy City Trolley

Hair & Makeup – Morgan Blaul

Rings – Groom,  Yoon Jung Yun inner message ring Bride, Cottage Jewelry

[images by Chennergy]

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Real wedding: Diana + Adam

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It might sound silly but after being together 10+ years it turned out that our wedding was really worth waiting for.  We were married on May 30th at East Hampton Point.  We worked with a talented and fun group of people across the board and all the parts came together beautifully.

Sesame Letterpress in Dumbo designed and printed our invitations.  In sapphire and silver gray, they were sophisticated yet whimsical — the exact mood we wanted to set for the wedding.  Robyn Wylde, who is also based in Brooklyn, was our fantastic calligrapher.

I wore Rosa Clara.  I fell in love with the dress on the designer’s web site, serendipitously found it on a sample sale rack at my first dress appointment and brought it to Pinpoint Bridal for the alterations.  Adam wore Ralph Lauren Black Label.  Matthew Green did an amazing job with my hair based on my extremely unclear request for a perfectly imperfect style.  I found the lovely hair flower — handmade from antique ribbon — at Tinsel Trading the weekend before we were married.  Jennifer Nam is a true, true artist with makeup and gave me a perfectly natural and luminous look.

East Hampton Point had such romantic ambiance, absolutely delicious food and the sunset over the water was incredible!  Amagansett Flowers by Beth made the gorgeous arrangements and the unique chuppah where Rabbi Zimmerman from the Jewish Center of the Hamptons married us.  Jazz vocalist Tereasa Vinson’s singing graced the cocktails, which we did first (that was a wonderful way to start the evening) and Bud Maltin Music rocked the reception.

And the amazing Janet and Lisa of JL Photografia have given us the ultimate gift of capturing everything so sublimely.

[images from JL Photografia]

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Real wedding: Jen + Hooper

I just love this wedding Amanda at Love Me Do Photography sent over…that cape and those tattoos totally sold me!

Our first wedding of this season was definitely a great one to start off with.  We were introduced to Jen and Hooper through co-worker friends of Amanda from the Philadelphia  Museum of Art.  Jen is a photographer (www.jenbandini.com) and blogger (www.escapetonewyork.net), and Hooper is a painter/drawer (www.hooperturner.com).  Since they were on a pretty tight budget, (and because we love their artwork!) we arranged to do a trade of services.  We photographed the wedding in exchange for a painting and photograph from each Jen and Hooper, which we both adore!

Their wedding took place on the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park in NYC on the edge of the pond, officiated by Kim Kirkley (ourelegantceremony.com).  Kim offered to perform the cermony in exchange for a donation to the Bed-Stuy Volunteer Ambulance Corps, a twenty year-old group that provides transportation and EMT service for a much under-servered area of Brooklyn.  It was a grey, windy New York day, but the sky matched Jen’s dress wonderfully and the photos in Central Park are some of our favorites we’ve taken.  Music during the ceremony was performed by friends, Austin Hughes and Glendon Jones of M. Shanghai String Band that brought guests to tears.  A reception followed at Rue 57 (http://www.rue57.com), hip French Bistro in Midtown, where their guests enjoyed a delicious dinner and celebrated the remainder of the evening with the newly wed couple.

Jen and Hooper designed their own invitations and save the date(http://escape-to-new-york.blogspot.com/2009/04/04202009-our-invitation-i-love.html) which were then letterpress printed by a good friend, Maggie Portis (http://gamewellpress.typepad.com/) as a wedding gift. Jen designed centerpieces, favors, and flowers herself.  Handmade masks, personalized bookmarks, and favors were made from clipart downloaded from clipart.com and printed at Kinkos. The paper dolls favors, which were a joint effort between Hooper and Jen – he did the drawings and she designed the layout and packaging.  Jen actually ended up printing a lot of stuff on her inkjet printer at home.   Jen’s hand-tied bouquet of ranunculus, scabiosa, and lisianthus came from freshroses.com.  Jen wore a silk chiffon evening gown was from Bergdorf Goodman, adorned with a custom capelet by Kate Towers, katetowers.com, and gloves by Carolina Amato.  Wedding rings were from weddingbands.com.  Hooper’s cufflinks were custom-made from typewriter keys by Joy’s Jewels.  The cake was made by Cake Alchemy (http://www.cakealchemy.com).   And of course, photography by Carina Romano and Amanda Jaffe of Love Me Do Photography.

[images by Love Me Do Photography]

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