I envisioned the wedding as an old-fashioned formal summer party. Once we decided on the location, Onteora Mountain House, a hilltop bed and breakfast in the Catskills built in the 1920s, other details started to fall into place. The location was breathtaking in itself, with mountain views and a gorgeous reception pavilion. I wanted the details we added to be simple, elegant, and speak to who we are. Early on, I decided on a color scheme of navy and yellow. Navy for the bridesmaids’ dresses and men’s suits, accented with bursts of yellow from flowers and ties. It fit in with the oldfashioned summer party – classy in navy, yet exuberant with warm hints of yellow.
We included only those wedding traditions that resonated with us. It was important to me that things be honest and real, meaning we were actually married that day, and the cake we cut was the cake that was served. I walked down the aisle with my father after descending an outdoor staircase on my own. A local justice of the peace married us, reading the words we’d selected. We did a ring warming, though with 100 guests, the rings only made it halfway through the crowd! During the rest of the night, guests stopped us to warm the rings already on our fingers. Two recently married friends selected readings and read at the ceremony. We decided against a receiving line, and visited all the guests during the course of the evening instead.
As an avid sewer and knitter, handmade details were a natural way for me to put my personal stamp on the day. For the napkins, I selected golden yellow and navy fabrics that had a vintage feel to them. After buying the first four fabrics, it was harder than expected to find more prints that were both the correct color and on theme. Each table had a unique print, either navy or yellow, accented by a solid-color runner. I made all the napkins, inserting little custom tags into the backs that said “Diana & Brian / August 15, 2009”. I hoped the guests would take them home, and they sure did! We only had about eight extra napkins at the end of the night. One of the bridesmaids made the table numbers by cutting out foam-core numbers and wrapping them with extra table runner fabric.
My fiance Brian wanted to get in on the crafting action, so he bought a used typewriter and typed out the names and table numbers on the escort cards. Each escort card featured a bit of the napkin fabric. On the escort card board, the fabrics looked random, but once guests arrived at their tables, they saw that the fabric swatch in their card matched the print of the napkins on their table. Bouquets, boutonnieres, and cake flowers were by Saipua. We made our own centerpieces from potted marigolds and white torenia flowers that grew on our back porch for months before the wedding. Rose at Chelsea Garden Center was a great help in assisting us with the potted plants, helping us to keep them blooming!
The invitations were designed and letterpressed by invited ink. I had seen invitations with fabric sleeves, and that fit right in with our theme. I sent Sally Ann at invited ink a fabric swatch of one of my favorite prints. She matched the ink color and designed a little illustration for the reply card. My mom, sister and I sewed the fabric sleeves and assembled the invitations. At the reception, in addition to the bar, we served beer brewed by my brother. He’s an avid amateur beer-brewer and cooked up two varieties for the event, Schenck Schwarzbier, and Parrington Pale Ale, named for the groom and bride’s last names. Additionally, mixing the two would produce Schenckington Black & Tans, which was suitable because “Schenckington” is a nickname we’ve had ever since becoming a couple.
The photo booth backdrop was made from two Ikea curtains sewn together. Someday I will detach the panels and use the curtains in our home. Almost all our guests came from out of town. For favors, in addition to the napkins, we gave each a bottle of wine from the Hudson Valley. Brian typed out tags and we attached them to the bottles with little knit sleeves. We went by the hotels a day early and left the wine for them. The wedding party plus significant others all stayed with us at Onteora on Friday and Saturday nights. We sewed simple fabric gift bags for each person, placing them on their beds before they arrived. Each contained a pair of handmade pajama pants, soaps from Saipua, and wedding party gifts. I made the pants (20 pairs!) with more navy and yellow fabrics and encouraged everyone to relax and hang out at nightly pajama parties. Amazingly, even though most sizes were based on guesswork, the pants fit everyone.
Photography by Love Captures
Flowers by Saipua
Potted plants with help from Rose at Chelsea Garden Center
Dress by Nicole Miller Bridal
Groom’s Suit and Groomsmen ties by Brooks Brothers
Makeup by LaV Beauty
Invitations by invited ink
Hair flowers by Handle & Spout
Ring Bowl by Paloma’s Nest
Cake Toppers by Goosegrease
[images by Love Captures, Robin Roemer, David Lim, and Diana]