Last week we featured an absolutely awesome real wedding, shot by Jessamyn Harris. Since I had such a positive response from the wedding, I wanted to post a few more details AND a note from the bride about her inspirations and ideas!
From Alex Cohen, the oh-so-creative bride…
I know how hard it is coming up with ideas for your wedding… so please feel free to steal mine! I consider imitation a high form of flattery!
THE SHOES — short answer, David’s Bridal and dyed by a local shoemaker… the longer story is that my husband bought his suit at a vintage store in Austin, Texas. Once I saw the cool blue color, I knew it had to be a big part in the wedding… I bought a pair of dyeable satin shoes at David’s Bridal and took them to my local shoemaker with a swatch of my husband’s suit to match and voila!!
One note there, the shoe dye smelled AWFUL and I had it done at the last minute. I recommend having it done way in advance so you have a chance to air your shoes out…
THE SITE — My husband and I met in San Francisco, lived there, LA and Austin. We had family and friends ALL over the country and we had a really hard time finding the perfect place. I looked at a bunch of sites, but the second that I showed up at the Villagio, I knew it was the right place. I loved that we could have the ceremony and dinner outside and then a cool indoor space (their Barrel Room) for dancing, etc. It wasn’t cheap, but totally worth it. The staff there was super friendly and no matter what weird request I had (“Ummmmm…. how do you guys feel about a bouncy house?? roller skaters?”), they were totally cool with it.
THE INVITES — I am very lucky in that I have some incredibly talented friends…. one of my best ones is Aerin Wilson, who also happens to be a fantastic designer. Aerin knew my priorities — I wanted to spend our budget on food and entertainment, not on invitations that people likely would wind up recycling anyway… So, she craftily came up with an idea to do a series of postcards. There was one for the invite part, another with a map to the site and the third was a RSVP card. There’s a company called 4 x 6 that did a great job printing these. We also used PhotoStamps to create personalized stamps to go on the invitation and RSVP card. For our graphics, we used work from a guy who’s artwork we really like — it’s fun, retro-style stuff and he has kits for sale for just $32 to make invitations.
THE TABLE CARDS: My husband and I are both big vintage car fans…. so I thought it would be fun to name our tables after various old cars… I went on ebay and got a bunch of fender scripts — those are the metal pieces you find on the sides of cars that say what they are like “Dodge Dart” or “Chrysler” and we used those in our centerpieces to identify the tables. We put the name cards on old hub caps that came off our cars.
THE CHEESE CAKE: This idea I totally ripped off from ReadyMade magazine’s bridal issue, if memory serves. The idea is simple — get three different rounds of cheese and stack them on top of each other and decorate with flowers, fruit, etc. We did ours with Marechal (a really yummy, super sharp and stinky cheese), Drunken Goat…. and I honestly can’t remember the third! For good recommendations on cheese, try the wonderful folks at the Cheese Store of Silverlake.
THE BOUNCY HOUSE: I have been a huge fan of inflatable bouncy houses for years… and my husband and I would always rent one when we had parties at our house. They are usually pretty inexpensive and provide lots of fun entertainment for both kids and adults. To find a local rental, I recommend Party Pop.
USHERETTES: I have done roller derby for the past four years and it’s a big part of my life. So I asked my derby friends to be the wedding at my ushers. In fact, that’s part of how I knew that the Villagio was the perfect site for me — it had a great long flat walkway for them to skate down!!
THE BAND: As mentioned, we’re lucky to have very talented friends… one of them is named Lori Carsillo. She’s a fantastic singer and is in a band called Project Pimento. They play lots of great cocktail-y versions of old standards and they have an upright bass and a theremin (two of my favorite instruments!).
THE FAVORS: My husband and I had LONG debates over what we would give people as favors…. At last we settled on something that people could remember us and the day by and is environmentally friendly: the tree in a box. Also, as a little sweet extra, we set up a candy bar with jars filled with retro candy. We decorated the table with some toy models of Edsel cars.
THE PHOTOS: We were VERY lucky to have found Jessamyn Harris. She is a fantastic photographer and a really awesome person, too. She is very laid back and made everyone around her feel super comfortable. One of the reasons we picked her is because of her self portrait booths — which I thought was a great idea!
THE DOGS: We have two great dogs, Buddy and Bosco, and they are our best pals. We wanted to include them in the ceremony and despite my hubby’s protests, I wanted to dress them in style. I found some great attire at WOOF Dog Boutique. They had adorable little jackets and ties that velcro for easy attachment and removal. And as Diane, the store owner, proudly exclaimed “They can pee WHILE they’re wearing it without messing it up!!” We accentuated with some classy black leather leashes and black leather collars that had light blue embroidered bones on it. I surprised my husband with the outfits, and he loved them! Even the dogs seemed pretty excited about getting swanky…
Thank you so much to Alex for sharing all of these brilliant details with us! You have such a talent for creating a fun, personality filled affair while still holding on to a sense of tradition and elegance.