Today I get to share Ed Peers‘s work with you for the second time, and I’m just as excited about it as I was the first time around! Not only are his photos some of the loveliest I’ve seen, but his clients are so thoughtful in the way they approach their weddings. Perfect inspiration for those in the midst of planning…

Alex wore a custom gown (in silver satin!), made by a friend from the theater, costume designer Lynn Hamilton. The bride tells us it was “based on combination of my grandmother’s dress, some dresses I tried on, some seen on blogs, and some vintage patterns Lynn had access to. The monogrammed ‘W’ back buckle was a bargain find on eBay.”

Though the wedding wasn’t especially traditional, there were a few wedding customs followed. Say Mike and Alex: “We threw confetti after the ceremony, and we accidentally found ourselves in a receiving line (a good idea in the end)!”

Guests played card games and got silly with a limbo pole, including the best man who demonstrated his gymnastic skills by somersaulting over the it.

A friend designed the Deco-inspired signage, and Alex silk screened 100 tea towels with a hilarious quote from The Princess Bride

Instead of a formal wedding cake, the couple asked their guests to bake treats. Says Alex, “One of our favorite moments was when we sneaked off into the great hall before the guests, and the cake table – beautifully lit, covered in a spectacular display of our guests’ cakes – just took our breath away. The cake table looked STUNNING, and it was such a wonderful reminder of how much our friends cared.” Instead of a cake cutting, the couple had a ribbon cutting to kick off the dessert course!

Alex and Mike kindly took the time to share some details about the day!

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  When we first discussed our wedding, we agreed only two material things mattered – the venue and the food. We stumbled across Eltham Palace and fell in love with it. Discovering that our favorite Sunday brunch place was an approved caterer was pure kismet, and the look and feel of the day just followed – vintage (with nods to Art Deco), a bit rustic, but not overly-fussy or feminine. We’re a very relaxed and informal couple, so we wanted our guests to feel the same way.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We have a house filled with items that are antique, vintage, retro and modern, and love the informal feel it creates. Alex spent an afternoon creating a mood-room: a display of all the objects around the house that spoke about the look we were going for. We were in full agreement, and sent photos of that display to our vendors so they could see what we were aiming for. Also, as we met working in theater, we wanted a few subtle nods to that, and wanted the tone to be slightly bawdy and not too serious at all – see our cocktail names for a taste of that!

Do you have any DIY tips for other brides?  For DIY projects, make a list well before, budget this up, analyze what you can do yourself and what can be farmed out to helpful mates in the months and weeks leading up to the day. Cross off anything that isn’t something within your comfort zone (I wish I’d done more screenprinting at college – it was crazy getting 100 of those tea towels done!), but enlist friends wherever possible. As we saw it, they’re the ones who’ll shape your memories of the day, so having them involved throughout makes it all so much more special.

What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t panic when seemingly-important things go wrong – Alex’s bespoke wedding ring, picked up the day before the wedding after a second attempt, was a disaster, and the maid of honor had to talk Alex down from floods of tears! Alex rang her mother and discovered that, when she married Alex’s father, her wedding ring wasn’t finished yet. Her mum ended up getting married with her engagement ring – so Alex did the same.

 

Menu

Signature Drinks: “Bitter Union” (Orange Juice, Ginger, Whiskey) and “The Mayday” (Rose, Elderflower, Melon, Sparkling Mint, Gin) // Canapes: Giant Green Olives, Crudités, Selection of Toasted Breads // Seabream Filet with Rosemary and Garlic served with Rouille / Shoulder of Lamb Stuffed with Preserved Lemons, Apricots, Spinach, Pink Peppercorns served with Salsa Verde // Braised English Tomatoes and Aubergines with Herbs, Olive Oil and Garlic / Charlotte Potato Salad with Sour Cream and Samphire / Spanish Chopped Salad with Smoked Paprika and Sherry Vinaigrette / Slaw with Roast Garlic and Lemon Mayonnaise / Asparagus and French Beans, with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette / Foccacia and Sourdough // Artisan cheeses / Homemade Cakes

 

Vendors

Photography: Ed Peers / Venue: Eltham Palace and Gardens in London / Bride’s custom dress: Lynn Hamilton / Bride’s shoes: Anthropologie / Bridesmaid dresses: H&M and COS / Groom’s suit: A Suit That Fits / Groom’s shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt / Flowers: Violets & Velvet / Catering: Hand Made Food

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Looking at wedding photos in magazines and blogs, it can be easy to forget that most of the planning should be about creating an experience, not just about creating things that will photograph well, which is why Courtney and Bronson’s wedding is such a breath of fresh air. The couple wanted their wedding to be “their perfect day in New York City.” Getting ready at The Greenwich Hotel, an intimate ceremony in historic Duane Park, dinner at one of their favorite restaurants, followed by a private concert performed by their favorite musician. What an amazing experience to share with 50 of your friends and family!

And the photographs turned out beautifully, too…

The invitation suite included a concert poster and a 45, setting the tone for an utterly unique wedding.

The ceremony took place in historic Duane Park, near the couple’s home in Tribeca.

50 guests and the couple’s bull dogs, Polly and Otis, were in attendance.

Polaroid cameras made for a fun alternative to the traditional guest book.

After dinner, town cars picked up the couple and their guests and took them to Rockwood Music Hall for a private concert with David Ford, one of Courtney and Bronson’s favorite musicians. (I just love the dress that Courtney changed into – working on finding out the designer for you!)

It’s always fun when I get to share a wedding film with you in addition to the photos!

Congratulations Courtney and Bronson! See lots more from this thoughtful wedding over on Karen Hill’s blog.

 

Menu

Antipasti: Sliced Prosciutto and Salumi Misti / Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with Herbs and Grilled Ciabatta / Insalata d’Andrea with Arugula, Apples, Marcona Almonds and Lemon / Blue Crab Crostino with Jalapeño and Tomato // Pasta: Homemade Trofie with Ligurian Pesto and Parmigiano-Reggiano / My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Braised Short Rib and Pork Belly / Mezze Rigatoni with Lamb Bolognese, Ricotta and Mint / Penne Pugliese with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe and Chickpeas // Contorni: Wood-Fired Seasonal Vegetables with Sea Salt and Sicilian Olive Oil / Organic Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Lemon // Dolci: Gelato and Sorbetto

 

Vendors

Photography: Karen Hill / Videography: Hello Super 8 / Event planning: Loli Events / Ceremony venue: Duane Park in Tribeca, NYC / Reception venue: Laconda Verde / After-party venue: Rockwood Music Hall / Invitation suite: Kelli Anderson / Wedding gown: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair, makeup: David Tibolla / Music: David Ford

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Laura and Simone’s garden luncheon looks like it’s straight out of a painting, which makes sense given that a painting was the main source of inspiration for them…

You’d never guess from this photo that the bride is a fashion editor, right? Bridesmaids each wore a different floor length dress: Coral pink from New Look, brown and pale pink both from H&M, lilac from Coast, mint green from Raoul, floral from Max Mara, pine green from Zara, vintage yellow dress. Laura designed her own dress. Don’t they look like goddesses?!

From the bride: We wanted our wedding to have a relaxed, bohemian yet elegant feel to it, like something out of a Monet painting, a true feast for the eyes. We love food, the outdoors, summer picnics and a glass of wine enjoyed with friends so we decided to get married in June when the weather would allow for a “dejeuner sur l’herbe” in my hometown, Florence. We decided on this rather than a formal sit down reception, because we wanted our friends’ children to be able to run around barefoot on the grass and everyone could enjoy a day of great food and chat in the beautiful open air. I guess we wanted to mix our Italian background with our English sensibilities so that both our sets of friends would be amused – hence the typically Italian choice of location, imagined as an English garden party.

Invest in an element of surprise for your guests, they will love it! We set up an “Artists’ Corner” and had a friend do illustrations of friends and family. For fun, we bought straw hats from second hand and charity shops throughout the year which we then scattered in the garden for guests to wear and take home.

Sugared almonds are a traditional favor that guests could take home in little brown paper bags stamped with the couple’s names and wedding date.

Everyone enjoyed a lunch of salumi, cheeses, and other antipasti. Signature drinks included whiskey sours and Aperol spritzes (an Italian cocktail made with Aperol, sparkling wine or champagne, and an orange peel).

What’s more lovely than lunch al fresco?

Coming up, Laura and Simone’s “Dinner Under the Stars…” See Part I here and Part III here.

See the full gallery here.

Photography: Ed Peers / Venue: Giardino Corsini in Florence, Italy (contact Sabina for bookings) / Bride’s dress: designed by the bride / Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin / Groom’s bespoke suit: Dress2Kill / Groom’s knit tie: Hermès / Bridesmaid dresses: (see above) / Flower girl dresses: Monsoon / Pageboy custom romper: Baroni / Flowers: Tommaso Torrini at La Rosa Canina Fioristi / Catering and cake: Galateo Ricevimenti
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  • Garden Luncheon Wedding in Italy

    16 August 2011
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    Sofia and Ben’s awesomely, beautifully fun wedding is exactly what we all need on a Monday morning – not just the smiles of the bride and groom, the cheery yellow and white palette, and the boat rides, but also Sofia and Ben’s attitude about the whole thing. Like this little nugget of wisdom: “A wedding is a party, not a performance. If at the end of the day you are married to the one you love, then everything went perfectly.”

    Brilliant.

    Don’t you love this idea for bridesmaids! Sofia had yellow skirts made for them, and they each chose a white top to go with it.

    From the couple: “We are both lucky enough to be close to our families. Sofia’s younger brother was ordained so that he could perform the ceremony and her grandmother wrote a poem to read, and Ben’s cousin played classical guitar and his other cousin Emily gave a reading. Our families live all over the country, so we may never again have the opportunity to have everyone in the same place at the same time. That alone was really special.”

    Guests had the chance to enjoy boat rides around the lagoon – “Probably people’s favorite part of the day,” say Sofia and Ben.

    Sofia and Ben collection vintage postcards of the Boathouse which they scanned and printed for a guest book alternative.

    Sofia and Ben are graphic designers, so they designed all of the stationery and favors, then had it printed by Studio On Fire. Favors were tote bags, folded inside of berry baskets and tied with twine. For centerpieces, Juliette and Sierra from Poppies and Posies (who, Sofia says, “are the nicest girls in Brooklyn, and possibly the planet”) arranged a variety of blooms in vintage yellow pitchers and Bulleit Bourbon bottles that Sofia and Ben collected throughout the year.

    Friends helped to bring the day together, including one who made linen table runners for the tables, one who acted as DJ and MC, and two who helped to organize the day: “On they day of the wedding, two of our sweet friends and wedding guests art directed the setup – it was so nice to have people we trusted making last minute decisions.” And the music? “We spent a lot of time choosing music and dancing around our kitchen the year of our wedding. Then our cool friend and former neighbor who was our DJ/MC also picked a lot of great songs for the night.”

    How much do you love this wedding! And you’re going to love all these little tidbits that Ben and Sofia were sweet enough to share with us:

    Why did you choose this for your wedding? I don’t think either of us thought we would have a wedding wedding but we are so happy we did. Choosing the Boathouse (which we live close to) was the first big decision we made. It was always a place that felt romantic to us. It is so iconically Brooklyn but still feels like an escape from the city – we are so glad our guests were able to enjoy Brooklyn in an unexpected way. And we loved that it wasn’t a huge space and we could have our medium sized wedding in a location that felt intimate.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The boathouse itself. Brooklyn. Summertime. Blogs like Snippet & Ink!

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Prioritize. You will have a million ideas at the onset (vintage taxi! photo booth! chuppah! and so on….), but choose what you can afford and what you actually have time to organize. A wedding doesn’t have to be a photoshoot. As much as we enjoyed creating personal details for the day it wasn’t worth it to us to go overboard with decorations and create things that would be thrown away after 5 hours of use. If you can’t eat it or take it home with you it may not be worth spending money on. I think all a successful party needs is good food and drinkables, good friends, good music. Everything else is just extras.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day? There were so many including waking up together in our home and having brunch just the two us, seeing my grandparents (who have been married 60 years) dance together. But our favorite moment without a doubt was running upstairs alone right after the ceremony and feeling this mixed sense of relief and joy about what had just happened. It was like the adrenaline had worn off and it felt…real.

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? One anecdote about things not going smoothly but ending up fun: We decided just to take local car service to the wedding to save on an expensive car rental and driver. We took some photos in Grand Army Plaza before heading to the boathouse. When we finished we realized that the car had abandoned us! Anyone who has been to Grand Army knows it is not the easiest place to find a cab. A complete stranger noticed our distress, let us hop in his car and he drove us to the wedding. Thank you to him for rescuing us and to his friends for squishing all the way in the back to make room!

     

    Summer Wedding Menu

    Dinner Zucchini Fritters // Heirloom Tomato Salad // Fish Tacos // Pulled Pork with the Groom’s Grandmother’s Barbecue Sauce // Red Velvet Whoopie Pies // Miniature Key Lime Pies // Chocolate, Vanilla, Espresso Chip, and Coconut Ice Cream

     

    Thank you so much to Oh, Darling! for sending over these beautiful photos, and to Sofia and Ben for sharing all these wonderful details. Best wishes to the two of you for a lifetime of happiness together!

     

    See the full gallery here.

    Photography: Oh, Darling! / Venue: The Boathouse in Prospect Park, Brooklyn / Bride’s dress: Elizabeth Dye, purchased at Lovely Bride / Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo / Groom’s ensemble: J.Crew / Custom bridesmaid skirts: Jill St. Coeur / Flowers: Poppies & Posies / Stationery design: Sofia and Ben / Letterpress: Studio On Fire / Catering: Movable Feast / Dessert: Trois Pommes Patisserie / Ice cream: Blue Marble
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  • Playful Wedding at Prospect Park Boathouse

    8 August 2011
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    San Francisco City Hall will forever be one of my favorite places, and I love whenever I have the chance to share a wedding there. If you’re considering a less traditional route for your wedding, you’ll find plenty of inspiration in Amy and Michael’s celebration, from its simplicity and intimacy, to the dinner party celebration. Even their invitations were unique, preparing guests for a weekend of incredible meals: cookbooks from Bouchon (the reception location), with a note from the couple that started with:

    Several months ago, over a proper English breakfast at The Wolseley in London, we decided to get hitched. Since that day, we’ve talked about what we wanted our decidedly non-traditional, hard-to-even-call-it-a-wedding wedding to be. Central to all our ideas was “the table”…and sharing a special meal with the people we love.

    On with the photos!

    Immediately following the civil ceremony, the culinary delights started with a rustic Italian lunch at Cotogna. The following day, the newlyweds and 43 guests enjoyed an incredible meal at Bouchon in Yountville.

    Amy shared some details about the day with us…

    Why did you choose these places for your wedding? We always knew we wanted to create a celebration that was intimate, non-traditional, and authentically “us.” Though we considered other locations, we decided on San Francisco and Napa Valley because we simply love where we live and play. City Hall is undoubtedly one of most beautiful buildings in San Francisco – maybe even the country. We considered Bouchon in Yountville early in our planning because it has been a special place for us for many years.

    What inspired you when you were planning? From the moment we got engaged – which was at our favorite breakfast table in London – we knew we wanted to create a celebration that was centered around great food and wine, and a shared experience around the table. Over the 15+ years we’ve known each other, we’ve had the good fortune to experience many wonderful meals together, and as we recollected our favorites, we realized that they weren’t about food or place at all. They were about sharing laughter and tears, about celebrating friendship and family, and ultimately about expressing love. So the concept of celebration our wedding “around the table” was born. We wanted to create an outrageous and fun dinner party, and we wanted our guests to say, “That was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life” as they left.

    What is your favorite moment from the day? It’s funny. We’ve each asked this question of one another since getting married, and we both mark the same moment as our hands-down favorite. It was during our civil ceremony – standing under the majestic and light-filled dome at San Francisco’s City Hall. There were only seven other family members present while we exchanged vows, but there could have been 700 for all we knew. We had our eyes locked on each other – totally present in that moment which will forever mark such a remarkable and important transition in our relationship.

     

    Vendors

    Photography: Flory Photo / Ceremony venue: San Francisco City Hall / Dinner party: Bouchon in Yountville, California / Bride’s dresses: both Lily Samii / Groom’s ceremony suit: Luigi Borrelli / Dinner suit: Sartorio / Flowers: In Water

     

    See lots more photos from Amy and Michael’s “hard-to-even-call-it-a-wedding wedding” over on Joel’s blog.

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