I absolutely love all of the details that Natalie infused into her wedding. Each element made the day seem personal and completely unique…
The save the dates and invitations were created and designed by Natalie…how great is that Horse-Shoe inspired Save the Date? I absolutely love it! The photo on the bottom left is Natalie’s rendition of a guest book…she had her friends and family write little notes, then be photographed holding their sentiments. Such a wonderful idea.
Before I get too carried away, I thought that I should have Natalie tell us what she felt really made her wedding special…grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine…it’s five o’clock somewhere right?) and get ready to be totally inspired…
1. Dan and I knew that our wedding could possibly be the only occasion where our families would meet. July 7th, 2007 was undeniably the perfect date for our celebration and inspired our theme of Old Irish Luck. With the theme in mind, I began looking into Irish tradition: flowers, ceremonies and lucky folklore. The Irish have A LOT to say about how one can become and remain lucky! Our floral horseshoe save the dates set the mood for our guests and reflected our own personal style. My business partner and I had a lot of fun illustrating and screen printing both save the dates and invitations.
2. Before I was engaged, I had marked a page in Martha Stewart Weddings featuring a gorgeous Vera Wang gown, one I never thought I’d be lucky enough to have for myself. A year later I found myself at Barneys trying it on and knew I had to have it! I accessorized it with “new” red shoes, my grandma’s “old” vintage rhinestone and pearl earrings, a pearl bracelet given to me as a bridesmaid gift from my stepmom, and my “something borrowed” a delicate 1920’s hair piece worn by my maid of honor for her wedding, given to her by her sister who found it in a New Orleans vintage boutique.
3. Vanity was unwelcome in the process of planning. I didn’t want to get worked into a frenzy of self guilt, starvation and exercise for my wedding in order to get down to a dream weight. I love food and I do NOT love exercise. Dan knows me well and I knew that Dan chose me as I was on any day of the week or year. I was happy to feel like myself throughout our engagement.
4. Our ceremony was filled with meaning. One of our best friends Shana, co-owner of Stems, was the reverend for our wedding. The three of us shared histories, books, and creative thoughts while designing the ceremony and writing our vows. The ceremony began by Shana lighting a candle surrounded by fresh shamrocks at the altar for those who had passed. Next to it sat a beautiful red murano vase filled with delicate black beauty roses in honor of my fabulous uncle who has passed away. Underneath it was a handkerchief embroidered by my maid of honor’s great grandmother in Italy, a favorite bridal shower gift from her mother to me. After the kelly green aisle runner was pulled, the bagpipes began and the bridal party walked down the aisle lead by my sister dressed as my beautiful “something blue”. The bagpipes made nearly everyone cry. As my dad and I followed the bagpiper down the aisle, he turned to me and said how much he loved me. Reaching the altar I saw that I wasn’t the only one crying as I saw looked into both Dan and Shana’s eyes.
5. I asked my Grandma Jean, who is my favorite lady in the world, to say something of her choice during our ceremony. She said she’d keep it “under two minutes”, which she suggested for our other readers as well. J She decided to write something for us and to keep it a surprise for the ceremony. What she read was the most sincere and sweet telling of her personal experience in love, life and marriage to my grandpa Russ of over fifty years, which brought a tear to every dry eye including hers. It was honest, real, and beautiful for everyone there to witness it and everyone commented on her grace and class. She is beautiful in many ways, endlessly smart and insightful, loving, kind, funny, and patient…all traits that come in handy in life long marriage and I was moved beyond words by what she had to say.
6. Our ceremony wasn’t a religious one, but it was full of spirit and charm. We wanted to honor our heritage and asked Dan’s sister Patti to read The Irish Blessing, “may the road rise to meet you…” which is such a complete sentiment and one which brought the warmth of tradition to the ceremony as well. After Patti, my college photography professor, Peter Le Grand, who created a home away from home during my college years and after, read a short reading by EE Cummings. This poem honored our modern lives, artistic selves, and eternal love for each other.
I thank You God for most this amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
- EE Cummings
7. Ahhh, number 7, of course has to be my horseshoe. I asked my Grandpa who has been a wood worker by night to carve a horseshoe to hang from my bouquet. He and my grandmother thoughtfully sought out a ferrier for a real horseshoe from an Arabian horse, one of my personal favorites. He based his design on that along with our save the date imagery. The ferrier warned him that the horseshoe must be hung pointed up to catch all of our good luck. My grandpa carved “Nat – 777 – Dan” along its curve and I hung it from red ribbons from my bridal bouquet. It was such a delicate and extraordinary gift of love and it will now hang above our front door. If we’re so lucky, it will be an heirloom for generations to come.
8. Our flowers were one of the most amazing additions to the day thanks to Allison Denny and the Stems crew. Allison is an awesome designer, very dear friend and neighbor. This was naturally a HUGE detail for me, and I know I was a lot to deal with in planning as a serious flower addict. I wanted as much of everything I loved to be part of the day and she hit the mark perfectly. The colors I chose were red, green, blue and yellow. It was a unique palette, so rich and vibrant. Each arrangement was different from the next with combinations of roses, dahlias, hydrangea, orchids, scabiosa, scented geranium, mosses, willow, fern, succulents, berries, and other amazing textural and colorful accents. Various vintage inspired containers in wood, green glazed ceramic and footed glass were used to create the lush and timeless feel.
9. I was lucky to have my friends Robin Hann and her husband photograph the entire wedding beautifully along with our many multitalented and generous friends. Photographer Doug McGoldrick took pictures of guests holding signs decorated with personal messages, both hysterical and touching, for our guestbook. The handmade details and Irish theme continued into the cocktail hour as guests were served appetizers on colorful napkins stamped with shamrocks and W’s for Walsh. The favor table was decorated with votives and lottery tickets wrapped with green, shamrock-stamped paper.
10. I now know what receiving lines are for, which we probably should have had, as I basically spent every second on the dance floor with all the other dancing queens! Justin Hori of Bento Entertainment, husband of my Maid of Honor, was our dj playing the hits. As the night progressed, my dad took over the song requests and the microphone, lip-synching to every song which I joined in on. In my mind it was just like the wedding reception montage in Wedding Crashers. I wish I could live it over again every weekend for the rest of my life, however it is so much more special as it was only once.
There was so much love in the room that everyone could feel it. It lifted us from our daily hustle and bustle existence to a place where everyone in our lives of all ages and relationships were at one time, in one room for one purpose, to honor our love and to be a part of our bond forever. During the planning this was ironically the reason that having a wedding made me nervous, but looking back at it is the most rewarding and bittersweet feeling, that our day with everyone was truly once in a lifetime, and one that I hope we can help each other to remember all of for the rest of our lives.
Thank you so much, Natalie, for sharing your special day with us…this could be one of the most personal weddings I have ever seen. I feel so lucky to be able to share it with our readers!