I should’ve known before I even looked at the vendor list, that the bouquet in this inspiration shoot was created by the ever talented Jackie of Munster Rose (see her Featured Vendor post here). Jackie is super duper sweet, and her work is, well by floral standards, to die for! It also doesn’t help that that model is adorable. I absolutely love, love, love the “brides” necklace, so I had to include a gratuitous shot of it, even thought it’s not flower related. Thanks to Dette Snaps for the lovely images!
So for today’s post things are going to get a bit gushy, and a bit mushy, and you’ll soon see why. Kelly e-mailed me back in early spring about having her wedding featured on Middle of the Map. I checked it out, and instantly fell in love with their event while looking at pictures on her blog 26east. Further investigation led me to the realization that not only was their wedding awesome, their house was so fun, and they’re a super cute family, but are also our neighbors (just one block away), and I had admired their house from afar. I was excited for this discovery, and fortunately Kelly was too. We’ve since gotten to know Kelly and Evan, and I’m so happy that they are our neighbors, and new friends. I only wish I’d met them sooner!
But back to their wedding…They did tons of DIY projects, including all the flowers and decor, and chose a classic black and white color palette with lots of graphic patterns and letters. Their personal style for the day was amazing, with Evan in a light grey suit, and Kelly wearing an assortment of fantastic headbands, plus their daughter Alex’s beautiful dress which perfectly tied in with the whole event. I can’t say enough good things about this event, so I’ll just let you take a look (told you I was going to be gushing). A huge thank you to Kelly for sharing their amazing day, and all the details. It’s a longer narrative than I usually share, but their whole event was so unique from start to finish. If you’re looking to plan an outside the box, casual event it’s a must read. Also thank you to We Are the Parsons for their beautiful images. Enjoy!
Who, What, Where ~ Ceremony&Reception: River Market Event Place. Photography: We Are The Parsons. Flowers and decor: DIY by Kelly and Evan. Food: Deco Catering. Cake Pops: Chips Chocolate Factory. Brides Attire: BCBG dress, Betsy Johnson shoes. Grooms Attire: Express Men’s.
And even more loveliness…
From the bride, Kelly…
Evan and I met on Craigslist. We like to start the story that way because it gets people attention and we get crazy looks. We like to pretend we’re comedians, so we’ll do anything for a cheap laugh. But it’s true – Craigslist brought us together, just not in the way you’d imagine. There are a million details to the story, but the Cliff Notes version is that I bought a bookcase off Craiglist and that’s how we met. No sparks. No romance. Just $25 cash, and a home for books. Three months later he found the motorcycle he was looking for on Craigslist and it just so happened to be my next door neighbor who was selling it. And that my friends is the short story of how we met and met again and realized it was fate and threw caution to the wind. Love soon followed.
We are a very hands-on, DIY obsessed couple so we knew right from the beginning we would make this wedding our own. Our main goal was to plan something unique to us, we kept referring to it as out of the box, but not foreign. The idea was to do make it different, yet still incorporate a little tradition so our guests could relate to it and manage everything on a pretty modest budget. We made almost every piece of decor and even decorated the space, along with some amazing friends, on the morning of our wedding.
We decided we didn’t want a traditional wedding party so we selected a group of our friends and family who were extra special to us, asked them to dress in our color theme (black/white/gray) and stand near us during the ceremony. It was very “come as you are and be who you are” type of thing. Since I have one sister and Evan has one brother, we selected them as Matron of Honor and the Best Man. My daughter was the flower girl/ribbon bearer.
One thing that is really special to us is our home. The year before the wedding we bought and renovated a 100 year old house in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. With all of our family coming from out of town, most of which had never been to our home, we knew we wanted it to be a central location. We loved having a house full of people coming and going all weekend. We even hosted our rehearsal-less rehearsal dinner at home so we could have both families and all of our friends in our home together, a once in a lifetime experience for sure.
On our wedding day, we opted to host a cocktail hour before the actual ceremony. We wanted to create a laid back mood and get everyone ready to party! When guests arrived at the venue they were greeted by our parents along with signature cocktails that we had selected. While our guests were served passed appetizers and drinks below, we gathered in a loft space just above the actual event space, with our wedding crew. This was a time for us to come together with our closest friends privately, relax and reflect.
I wrote our ceremony “script” because we wanted to be sure it really represented all that we were thinking and feeling. We wanted to be sure to include special recognition for the family that was being formed with my daughter and for the unique circumstances that brought us together. We incorporated a hand fasting ritual, which involved both moms presenting the ribbons they received and tying them together around our joined hands. We did this to represent the joining of families and to symbolize an old Italian and Polish tradition of “tying the knot”. This was done in place of a unity candle and along with a beautiful poem that was read during it.
We wrote our own vows and had my brother read a poem called “Destiny” in place of traditional readings. This was such a touching moment during the ceremony because this poem alone summed up everything about our lives, things we had been through before and how we had found each other. As we exchanged rings and were finally announced as husband and wife, our wedding party showered us with hundreds of rose petals and we were embraced by all of our friends and family.
The moment that stands out the most to me was having my dad play guitar and sing to us for our first dance together as husband and wife. I will never forget that moment with him or with my husband.
All in all we both credit our wedding day with being the most fun we have ever had in a single weekend. We 100% believe that taking a more casual approach to everything is what it all boils down to. There was no pressure on us to fall in line with tradition or live up to anyone’s expectations. We definitely got funny looks and nervous laughs from our parents and friends during the planning, but in the end everyone saw and understood our vision. We knew all along what we wanted and by keeping the focus on our love and personalities, we had the best wedding possible – for us.
In the end I give my amazing husband so much credit. From the very beginning he was a part of the planning and he wanted me to know we were in this together — even with all my crazy ideas and plans. Along with the dress, the food, flowers and everything in between, I walked into the process with a true partner and as we go forward in life, I have realized that is the most important detail of all. Looking back through our incredible photos, what sticks with us is how naturally everything evolved and how incredibly relaxed and happy we were that day.
Spring is definitely all around us, but I couldn’t see any reason not to share one last winter inspiration shoot, especially one as lovely and detailed as this one. Shot by the talented Erin Johnson, and styled by Carly of Girl Friday (a wedding PR business), this post is packed full of so many great ideas. Here’s a bit more from Erin about the shoot, and it’s inspiration:
I asked Carly, from Girl Friday, to set-up an inspiration shoot. I told her I just wanted to show up and be suprised. Well, I was surprised alright! She called on some of our favorite people in our area…and pretty soon it was getting so big she split the shoot into two themes with two sets of models! This is the first theme. We’re calling it “eclectic hay loft wedding.” It’s inspired by Carly’s love of books, fonts, black and white stripes and her pug, Hank.
Who, What, Where ~ Venue: Seven Oaks Farm. Photos: Erin Johnson Photography. Styling: Girl Friday. Event Designer: Simply Elegant Bridal Consulting. Flowers: Sweet Peas Floral. Cater: Chowgirls Killer Catering. Bakery: Sweets Bakeshop. Invitations: Rosann Konieczny Calligrapher. DIY or Handmade Goods Designer: Allison and Rachel Pegoraro. Veils/Headpieces: Something Borrowed Bride. Hair Styling: Salon Etica. Furniture and Props: On Solid Ground Vintage Rentals and Lime Canary Vintage Rentals. Dress Shop: Brides of France. Dress Designer: JenMar.
More details and loveliness…
This week has been a super inspiring one for me with some many amazing submissions to be shared on the blog. Today’s wedding is no exception. When they started planning their wedding Laura says that Hollis really wanted an outdoor venue. However she was a bit nervous, and wanted a spot with a roof, just in case. They chose the visitors center at Como Zoo because it had a beautiful terrace overlooking the conservatory, and park, as well as being enclosed in glass to give the whole reception an outdoor feel. They really utilized the idea of lush greenery in their decor and personal flowers. Some of my absolute favorite details are the adorable cake with fondant succulents, and the bridesmaids purple print dresses. A big thank you to Laura for sharing all the details from her and Hollis’ day, and to Maren Delaney Photography for the beautiful images.
Who, What, Where ~ Ceremony: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. Reception: Como Zoo. Photos: Maren Delaney Photography. Bouquets and Bouts: Molly’s Gardens. Cake: Sweets Bakeshop. Brides Dress: Priscilla of Boston. Bridesmaids: Nordstrom.
Even more gorgeousness…
From the bride…
Hollis and I met in the winter of 2006. I had just returned from teaching English in China, and was getting ready to start law school in the fall, and needed a job. I was hired as a server at a restaurant where Hollis was the pastry chef. We have lived together in St. Paul since the fall of 2007. We love traveling, trying new food/restaurants and spending time with our family and friends. This past fall, Hollis planned a surprise trip to Chicago for my birthday. He even packed a suitcase for me! On my birthday, September 23, he proposed while we were walking down Navy Pier.
We set a date for August 27th, and then my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer at the end of January, so we moved the date to May 28th, hoping it would give us the chance for my mom to be there. Unfortunately she passed away in April, but we went ahead with the wedding knowing it was what she wanted. I was lucky enough to have my mother there when I found my dress.
The wedding colors were purple, green and silver/white. I can’t remember if I chose those colors or if they were inspired by the bridesmaid dresses. Once I picked the dresses, everything else started falling into place. Being foodies, we were particularly concerned about dessert. So we decided that Hollis would make centerpiece cakes for each table. We started collecting vintage cake stands for each cake/table.
I wanted my look to be vintage. I wore a rhinestone bracelet that belonged to my late grandmother, and had a lace handkerchief that belonged to my other grandmother. We looked for weddings bands for Hollis, and didn’t find anything we were crazy about. And then my aunt told us Hollis could have my great-grandfather’s wedding band. Miraculously it fit, and Hollis loved that it had their wedding date inscribed on the inside from 1907!
I think my favorite part of the day was seeing everything come together. Everyone’s hard work and love paid off. Hopefully that didn’t sound too cheesy. I just felt so lucky to have so many friends and family from all over come to help us celebrate! We had guests from California, Denver, New York, South Carolina, Chicago and Kuwait! Knowing that people were there to help us have a wonderful day meant the world to me. And of course marrying a wonderful man! Another favorite part of the day was carrying on a tradition that my sorority sisters and I have started. At each wedding, there have been 5 (I think) including mine, where we all sing and dance like crazy ladies to a song called “Murder on the Dancefloor.” It’s a great girl anthem, and a fun part of Kappa Kappa Gamma weddings!
This is Candice and Chris…
When Nikita Gross sent me their riverboat wedding I was super excited. They were married on the Ohio River in Cincinnati, and I was instantly drawn to their beautiful flowers created by Marti’s Floral Design. The lushness of her bouquet, and the fun textural mix of succulents, dusty miller, billy balls, and scabiosa pods combined with big beautiful blooms is always a winner in my book. Plus it doesn’t hurt that they’re an adorable couple!