Real wedding: Meghan + Blake

As much as I like my fancy-shmancy weddings, a wedding like this really brings it down to the basics and is equally, if not more, sweet!  It was shot on a private beach in California by the talented Katie Osgood (who acted as witness to boot.)  Blake picked out Meghan’s flowers at Trader Joe’s that morning to make her bouquet, and Meghan did Blake’s hair in addition to her own…adorable right??

[images from Katie Osgood Photography]

Katie Osgood Photography is a Brooklyn Bride sponsor

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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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Real wedding: Sandra + Nate

What really sold me on this wedding was the incredible space, the white lanterns, and the overall modern feel of the whole shebang!  Sandra gives all the details below…enjoy!
We met on April 3rd, 2009 at a friend’s birthday party.  After six wonderful months of dating, we were engaged.

We had only three months to plan our wedding (due to our choice of venue and their availability). A bit ambitious, however we were confident we could pull it off, even without a wedding planner.   We wanted a relaxed, sophisticated, and contemporary vibe with wonderful food, drinks, and entertainment. We wanted to throw a fun party. We didn’t realize it at the time we booked our venue, but we had chosen to get married exactly one yearfrom the date we met. Serendipitous!

The ball starts rolling

On a business trip to Minneapolis two months after we got engaged, we decided on a whim to check out wedding dresses at Macy’s. Despite thinking there would be nothing but disappointment at a traditional department store, I was stunned that they had one of three dresses I had bookmarked when perusing dresses online for ideas – a Vera Wang. This one was the favorite, and was offered at a deep discount during a floor sample sale. Lucky! The sales lady insisted the alterations could be done before we left town…in three days. Done. (The husband-to-be already had a dapper Hugo Boss suit, coincidentally also purchased at a Macy’s years ago).

Less than a month later, on January 2nd, we decided to look for a wedding venue in Chicago, the city where we live and met. We were hoping for a one stop deal where we could have the ceremony and reception at the same place, to get the fullest use of our short day and to make things easier for our out-of-town guests. We also wanted a place that was unique, modern, and not too big for our small wedding, and we were cognizant that a space’s decor (or lack thereof) could make or break a photo. So we called one of our top contenders, Prairie Production, and we were able to see it that day. It was a blank slate: white walls, some with exposed white brick, concrete floors, and the best part, enormous floor to ceiling windows facing south that allowed for beautiful natural lighting. As a bonus, we liked the location because we had spent some time there on our first city photo excursion together. Booked.

Real planning begins

Photography is important to both of us and we did not want to compromise in this area.  Memories fade over the years and we wanted images that would bring us back emotionally.  After a lot of searching, we found a great photograher. Her work stood apart from the rest, and we liked that she had a fine art photography background. She was the only photographer we contacted, but when you know it’s right, it’s right.

Through phone calls, online searches and Yelp reviews, we selected four caterers.  Upon receiving bids, we elected to set up tastings with two.  We couldn’t have gone wrong with either caterer, making this one of the hardest decisions we had to make.  We finally decided chose Food for Thought, and they did great.
Instead of a cake, we decided to go with cupcakes. This allowed for a greater variety of flavors. Something for everyone.

Flowers were next on the agenda and we met with two vendors. With a few starting points from us, our florist created some beautiful arrangements. We opted for an arrangement that would complement a room with 22 foot ceilings that did not look out of place in such a contemporary setting.

After shopping around a bit for invitations, we decided to save some money by creating our own, along with RSVP cards, table cards, and escort cards. In the end they turned out well, but the design, printing and assembly was a lot of work.

For decorations, we had photos printed from our adventures together and matted them to hang along a long wall at the venue. We also designed and built pillars to hold illuminated pussy willows along the walls. Satisfying, but time-consuming.

For the following items, we were able to whittle down our choice in vendors so we only met with one in each area.  This saved us valuable time to work on the invitations and decorations…
For entertainment, we chose a string quartet to perform during the ceremony and cocktail hour.  The quartet was amazing and added a flavor of sophistication we were looking for.  We hired a deejay to provide music during dinner and dancing.
To perform the ceremony, we found a reverend that was non-denominational, but was spiritual.  We were impressed with him from day one.  He was extremely organized and detail oriented.  The ceremony was brief, yet relevant and thoughtful.
A dear friend who works in the lighting industry provided all of the lights at the venue.  The venue has dramatically high white walls, and the lighting was a perfect balance for the space.

The Wedding Day
Some say that something always goes wrong on the wedding day, but we were optimistic that things would be stellar.  We had confidence in our vendors and expected to spend the day relaxed, yet excited. The whirlwind of planning was coming to an end.  The early morning rain cleared up for pre-wedding photos. Blissful.

In Conclusion

We had such a wonderful time, and it was truly amazing to see everyone that is so important to us there in one place. Everyone we talked to afterward said they had fun, and some of our guests commented that everything reflected our style. Mission accomplished.

Venue: Prairie Production
Officiant: Bruce Otto

Catering: Food for Thought
String Quartet: Park West Strings
Cupcakes: Luscious Layers
Jewelry: Steve Quick
Dress: Vera Wang
Suit: Hugo Boss

[images from Olivia Leigh Photographie]

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Real wedding: Emily + Adam

We chose Bedell Cellars in the North Fork because we wanted a venue that reflected our love for the outdoors and wine, of course. Adam’s parents have been vacationing in the North Fork for years and we thought that it would be fun to introduce our friends and family to the wine country of Long Island at what we called a “mini-destination wedding” with a weekend of events in Greenport and Cutchogue. The house we rented in Greenport was a gorgeous restored boathouse from the 1800s with huge doors at either end of the house and was a great gathering spot for the wedding party all weekend.

Fortunately, Mother Nature cooperated on the day of the wedding and it couldn’t be any more glorious! The day was perfect in every way… good food, wine, friends and The Stingers had the entire party dancing from the minute they started. I absolutely loved the “Audiobooth” — I’ve watched it over and over again! We also set up a pie bar for dessert with five of our favorite fresh fruit pies from Briermere Farms in Riverhead, which was a big hit.

A piece of advice for brides-to-be is that the bridesmaids, my mom and I were so glad we had Merrell, the make-up artist, on hand for touch-ups throughout the night. She was fabulous and I felt like a million bucks. All of our vendors were incredible. Brooklyn Bride was a great resource and inspiration during the planning.


Dress – Lela Rose
Shoes – Jimmy Choo

Necklace – Badgley Mischka
Make-Up – Merrell Smith from Space NK

Groom’s Suit – Michael Andrews Bespoke

Bridemaid Dresses – J. Crew

Flowers – Denise Fasanello
Catering – Brent Newsom Catering

Cake & Pie Bar – Butta’ Cakes, Greenport; Briemere Farms, Riverhead
Cake Topper – Fancie Fannie’s (the topper includes our dog and cat!)

Music – The Stingers Band

Calligraphy – Goodhue Designs

Invitations, programs, table numbers, menus – I designed them, but the “Emily & Adam” logo was by Emilie Friday calligraphy and letterpress (for invites) was by Ajalon Printing.

Venue – Bedell Cellars
Photographer – Tory Williams

[images from Tory Williams Photography]

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