Real wedding: Brynna + Eric

Our wedding honored our faith and radiated the love of our families and friends, who so givingly devoted themselves to us throughout the process and the day itself.  My sisters were my maids of honor, and Eric’s twin brother was his best man.  One sister, a cosmetologist, got up at 5:30 to get ready so she could spend the whole morning doing my hair and makeup.  My brother was one of Eric’s groomsmen and Eric’s sister was one of my bridesmaids.  Both our dads gave amazing, tear-jerking speeches. My three adorable little cousins were the ring bearers and flower girl.  Our bridal party came from as far as San Antonio, Texas!  We felt so blessed to be surrounded by (almost) all the people who are important to us.

We were married in Portland, Oregon, at our church building, a large, transformed warehouse.  We worked with the feeling of the church’s décor, which mixes raw natural pieces with industrial-feeling elements, a combination we loved and that was perfect for our vision.  We are both artists, and wanted our wedding to be representative of us.  I was worried about filling such an enormous space – it seats 1,000 people and we had around 200 – but with the huge room dimmed and lighting left mostly to candles, the space became astonishingly intimate.  The dim lighting turned the focus to the stage and dramatic elements like long birch tree curtain panels hung from the very tall ceiling, candle-filled gutters along the sides of the aisle, and large arrangements of bare branches and bold, unusual looking flowers.  Our lone stage floral spray consisted mostly of tall black pussy willow and forsythia branches.  I was stunned to see how it all came together and filled the space so well.  Everything was basic and bold, making a dramatic, but not flashy, statement.

Because I was between undergraduate and graduate school, I was able to take on lots of DIY projects in preparation for the wedding.  I loved doing this, as it saved money and made everything more personal.  Eric and I designed all our paper products, including save the dates,  invitations, labels to put on bags of local coffee beans as favors, and 6-page square booklet programs that I sewed together with my machine.  I sewed the fabric flower in my hair using lace cut from the bottom of my wedding dress during alterations.  Instead of coffee beans for the kids, we assembled bags of jelly beans and included children’s names on the bags to avoid mix-ups and overindulgence. :]

Our standing reception felt like an art show, with people walking around conversing and drinking espresso from two catered carts.  We played instrumental, beat-driven songs by Eric’s favorite indie bands.  Yours Truly Caterers served an amazing bite-sized hors d’oeuvres spread, along with our special request, crepes with chocolate hazelnut butter and bananas.  YUM.  Our guest book consisted of two large pieces of canvas hung on a bare wall.  Guests wrote and drew on the canvas with multicolored paint pens.  There were lots of children in attendance, which we loved.  My mom, a former 2nd grade teacher, set up a craft table where kids could glue tissue paper blossoms to paper branches on card stock.  We showed a video in which my roommate and her fiancé interviewed Eric and I separately about each other; it was the first time either of us saw it, and it was a huge hit with everyone.  My two beautiful sisters both gave speeches and then surprised me by singing “Sisters,” from the old movie White Christmas.  I laughed and cried continually throughout the afternoon – it was perfect.

We completely treasure our antique rings (pictured).  They are one-of-a-kind, and we can rest knowing we didn’t bring new diamonds into the country.  Eric’s band has several different colors of gold inlaid in designs of roses and even a cherub, and it has initials and a wedding date from 1880 engraved inside.  My rings are from 1940 and 1960.

In addition to everything I’ve mentioned, one of my favorite memories of the day was catching my 4-year-old cousin, one of my ring bearers and probably the cutest little boy in the world, peeking into the room where the girls were doing hair and makeup (pictured).

Vendors:

Rings from Gilt Vintage and Artisan Jewelry, giltjewelry.com

Caterering by Yours Truly Caterers, yourstrulycaterers.com

Photography by Tyler Gould, tylergouldmedia.com

Dress by San Patrick, sanpatrick.com

Dress from Anna’s Bridal, annasbridal.com

Bride’s shoes by Jeffrey Campbell, jeffreycampbell.com (purchased at Nordstrom)

Tuxedos by Joseph Abboud, josephabboud.com

Tuxedos from A Formal Affair, http://www.aformalaffairtuxedo.com

Groom’s shoes by Aldo Shoes, aldoshoes.com

Coffee for favors by Stumptown Coffee Roasters, stumptowncoffee.com

Flowers designed by Lynda at City Flowers and Interiors, www.cityflowerspdx.com

Bride’s Hair and Makeup by Lauren Murray (email me for contact info)

Wedding held at Solid Rock church in Tigard, Oregon, ajesuschurch.org

[images from Tyler Gould]

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Bridal Buzz: Allison + Ray

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I’ve posted a very pretty real wedding over at the Bridal Buzz today, shot by Erik Ekroth. Pop by and check it out! It features my new favorite color, purple!

And if you’ve got a real wedding you’d like to show over at WEtv.com, send them my way! They don’t have to be from Brooklyn either! (though, just to clarify, the weddings I show here on BB have NEVER had to be from Brooklyn, just have a modern aesthetic)

[image from Erik Ekroth]

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Real wedding: Andy + Ivan

It was so nice to get this wedding in my mailbox from a lovely lady by the name of Tory Williams that I went to college with…we were in the same photography class and she was plenty talented then, just as she is now! The details from this wedding are just the sweetest…cookies matching the dress? Love it!

DRESS: Ralph Lauren Collection, “Fillippa Dress”. I modified the collar into a ruffle, added bustles underneath to tie the front up after the ceremony, and added the satin black ribbon.

SHOES: Kate Spade

FLOWERS: Daiva Jeanne Florals, Contact: Daiva Deupree, Daivajeanne@gmail.com

CATERER: Relish Caterers, Contact: Courtney Maggart 212-228-1672

HAIR/MAKE-UP: JoAnn Robertson, www.joannrobertson.com

CAKE: Cupcake Cafe, 212-465-1530.

CAKE TOPPERS: Goose Grease in Williamsburg, Brooklyn goosegrease.etsy.com

BAND (pictured): The Cangelosi Cards, Contact: Jake 718-744-7391. (from brooklyn)

LOCATION: Sun West Studios, www.sunnyc.com, Contact: Mezz, 212-330-9900

WEDDING COORDINATOR: Paulette Robinson Weddings and Events. www.pauletterobinson.com

INVITATIONS: Dauphine Press, www.dauphinepress.com

COOKIES: Flour Patch Bakery in Montclair, NJ. www.flourpatchbakery.com

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Real wedding: Kate + Michael

Kate sent me her wedding a few weeks ago, and I’m happy to finally get to post it!  It looks like one of those weddings that you’d be so psyched that you just got invited!

I’ve been meaning to send you a few photos of our wedding, held last summer (July 5, 2008) at our house in Vermont, for ages. Michael and I live in Brooklyn and are fiercely devoted to our borough (he owns a company called Neighborhoodies, and I work at Brooklyn Botanic Garden), but our 1823 home in Vermont– Fern Hill– is where our hearts live. We built our wedding from the ground up with friends and family: making the food, putting together the flowers, designing and printing the paper goods, making playlists, and more. The wedding wasn’t only a carnival of love, but a proud productive moment for me, Michael, and our loved ones!

There are so many stories to share. I’ll try to structure some around the photos attached: we had the ceremony on a small hill overlooking a brook, the same spot where Michael proposed in June of 2007. Our officiant was my best friend (and maid of honor’s) mother, who led a Jewish-inflected ceremony that became very emotional for many of our guests, particularly when Michael read an excerpt he chose from Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road.” The end of the ceremony– when he smashed the glass– was pure joy,  and we took off running down the hill in a totally strange & unplanned & and wonderful expression of delight!

We worked with a dear friend on creating the dinner menu, which used ingredients almost exclusively from Vermont purveyors. Another friend brought a quart of his famous salad dressing, and yet another drove up our favorite vegan whoopie pies from a bakery in Bethlehem, PA! My ivory lace dress was vintage in perfect condition (and I traded hundreds of dollars in alterations with a wonderful woman I met on Indiebride), and so was Michael’s three-piece navy suit, which came from Rue St. Denis in the East Village. The peony season in Vermont is only about three weeks, but luckily we fell right in the middle of it and bought 125 peonies from a nearby farm in shades of pink and white to arrange alongside soy votives in mason jars and simple glass vases over some old cotton lace I picked up at tag sales around town. My MOH hand-wrote all the place cards and table names, which were the names of New York Times sections (which Michael and I can’t function during the day without reading).

Our photographer, Heather Waraksa, and her second shooter Mike blew us away with their ease, skill, creativity, friendliness and, of course, the quality of the shots. I already have sent too many (and they’re out of order!), but we shot this amazingly cool series at night with sparklers (it was the day after July 4, after all), and some of the portraits they did were mindblowingly gorgeous.

[images by Heather Waraksa]

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Real wedding: Julie + Matthew

ABOUT US AND THE WEDDING

Matthew and I met at his sneaker and clothing shop, District, in our hometown of Alameda during the summer of 2005. As I browsed through his new store, his attempts at customer service and flirting came off rude and egotistical. Although it wasn’t a great first impression, I felt an immediate connection, but kept my distance after we learned that my cousin was a good friend of his. Two weeks later, Matt’s business partner and my cousin’s friend, invited me to join them as a buyer at a major Las Vegas Convention. My cousin had his reservations, but thought it would be a great opportunity for us to get to know each other. Who could pass up a free trip to Las Vegas, right? Matt asked me to lunch a few days before the trip so that we could get acquainted. We became instant friends and have been inseparable ever since.

After a couple years of dating and while on a winter vacation in New York City, we spent New Year’s Eve 2007 at a Chris Rock performance inside Madison Square Garden. At the stroke of midnight, Matt turned to me and said, “Babe, I’m not going anywhere,” a direct quote from the show. My reaction was, “What? That’s Chris Rock’s line!” He pulled out the box, opened it upside down and held a beautiful cushion cut solitaire in his trembling hands. While I burst into tears, Matt patiently said, “So, what’s your answer?” Although he didn’t officially ask, I cried out, “Yes!”

We were motivated to find a modern and clean venue that could represent our styles and personalities. After a month long search, we approached the new Yoshi’s Jazz Club and Restaurant in San Francisco with the idea of their first wedding and they were sold. The venue was made for our event: we held the ceremony in the jazz club, cocktail hour in the bar and lounge on the main floor and upstairs, moved into the dining room for dinner and back into the jazz club for cake, dessert and dancing!

After we booked Yoshi’s, we searched for local businesses that could provide us with the perfect service. Half way through my first day of wedding dress shopping, I tried on one dress that took everyone’s breath away. When I found out it was designed by Junko Yoshioka, it was the perfect sign and then, the perfect dress. Another light went off in my head when we realized that we could ask a family friend, Rev. Michael Yoshii, to officiate the ceremony. We were definitely on the right track with Yoshi’s, Yoshioka and Yoshii.

Because District and shoes played such a fun symbol in our relationship, we found it to be the perfect theme to tie us and our wedding celebration together. I was first inspired to create a cake unlike any other. Why not stack some shoeboxes on top of each other and top the cake off with replicas of our actual wedding shoes? Matt’s new white patent leather croc Vans and my silver sedaraby’s by Manolo Blahnik did the trick. After finding a local cake artist, Debbie Does Cakes, to help us embellish our dream cake, the theme took off. I soon reached out to a friend with a local design business, Passing Notes. Abbie helped us create shoe print invitations embedded with our initials, programs tied with a custom made shoelace, personalized shoehorns that guided our 200 guests to their table cities and our shoelace logo, which we projected onto the walls of Yoshi’s jazz club. Matt and I also displayed the logo alongside our photo on Yoshi’s outdoor marquee and even hand painted our logo on our aisle runner. The logo also added a personal touch to our out of town and wedding party gift bags.

Our purple theme was vibrant throughout the event with strapless Ralph Lauren bridesmaid dresses, purple bowties and argyle socks for the groomsmen. Purple orchids were submersed in tall vases filled with white stones and purple water. Different shades of purple and white orchids were also chosen for the boutonnières and bouquets provided by our local florist, Mints.

Our Uncle blessed the ceremony with his solo guitar, which included six Beatles songs, and a friend personalized our cocktail hour with his DJ beats. Yoshi’s provided the ambiance with jazz hits as we seated our guests at communal tables to serve the Japanese family style menu:

1st course: sendai miso soup, edamame, kakiage

2nd course: spicy geisha roll, sarusa roll, japanese roll

3rd course: gindara black cod, creekstone farm black angus ribeye

4th course: chocolate mousse bon bons and wedding cake

Debbie Does Cakes Shoe Cake: lemon cake with raspberry and vanilla filling

Sugar Danny’s Sheet cake: double layered devils food cake and almond cake

The night went off with a bang as we performed our self choreographed first dance to Estelle’s, American Boy. We cut the shoe cake, served the bon bons and danced the night away to top hits by the band, D’Groove.

Two days after the best day of our lives, we honeymooned in Nadi, Fiji and explored parts of

New Zealand that involved the Franz Josef glacier, bungy jumping, white water rafting and a helicopter ride over Milford Sound.

We’re still enjoying the coverage of our big day and get to relive it through our photographers, Joel Flory and Jon Encarncacion, and videographers, Travis and Curtis from Curtis Nemetz Productions.

Check out more images on Joel’s blog

[images from Joel Flory]

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