I am breaking my strict “exclusivity” policy to show you this darling wedding that has been making me smile all afternoon. Since it included so many of our incredible vendors and since the style is unabashedly lovely, I thought we could overlook our little rule. Just this once. Photographed by the one and only Laura Novak (who is basically one of the best photographers in the world), this is French inspired style with the most charming, approachable details. And we love it. Love, love, love it.
The Photographer…To begin, the most important detail was choosing the absolute best photographer we could think of – or what would be the point of any of the other details?! And so we did! I had Laura Novak in mind since I discovered her work when writing wedding pieces for Philadelphia Magazine’s Elegant Wedding (looonnnnnng before getting engaged). Once we got engaged, the phone call to Laura’s office was the first one we made. After that, it was all (wedding) cake!
The Venue…Charles is Catholic and is from Nice, France and I am Jewish and from Philadelphia. We toyed with the idea of getting married in Nice and even found some exquisite locations but in the end, we decided on Philadelphia. But we wanted to sprinkle a bit of Provence and European flair into the details and create a French country garden party. Greystone Hall was the perfect venue. A grandiose English Renaissance Estate, with beautiful grounds, and historic relevance. There’s really no place like it around.
The Food…The food was incredibly important to us. We are big foodies, and have worked in hospitality, so this was an area to which we gave incredible attention to detail. We didn’t even really speak with any other caterers – we bee-lined it to Peachtree & Ward. Jon Weinrott is amazing. Details we wanted to include were an amuse bouche (best part of any meal!), a cheese course, wine pairings with each of the 5 courses (at least one of which had to include my favorite, foie gras), and a croquembouche wedding cake. The croquembouche was actually made by Robert Bennett, owner of AHB foods and prior longstanding pastry chef at Le Bec-Fin.
The Dress…After a long hunt, we discovered Ever After in Miami, which is a little shop close to my Mother. We are so glad we did. I was so lucky to find Nathalie – my beautiful Vera Wang dress. She is a class act, Nathalie. Ever After has an amazing team, including Leah who even calmly told me we would figure something out when I came into my second fitting a month before the wedding, panicked because I thought I had fallen out of love with Nathalie.
Found things…Charles, my mother, and I spent the year and a half leading up to the wedding collecting vintage handkerchief from various antique stores which we then displayed at the ceremony site, inviting guests to take one for “Tears of Joy”. We used this adorable motif of two little birds sitting on a leafy twig for a lot of our materials from the invitation to the menus and thank you cards. I found the image on etsy.com and the woman who had used it directed me to a stamp-maker in Canada who sold the stamped image. I bought the stamp and some ink, stamped it onto a piece of cardstock and passed it off to the graphic designers who scanned it and scaled it for each piece. I love this image – I think we’ll use it forever. The bridesmaids’ gifts were Lauren Merkin bags, which I packaged to include the flower-bloom combs that I had designed for them on etsy.com by Beetle and Bloom. I also got the ring-bearer’s pillow with black-and-white French script fabric as well as my garter belts and custom stickers for the OOT bags, on etsy.com. Lastly, my own hairpiece was designed by etsy.com seller, Muscari.
The Flowers…The flowers turned out exactly as I envisioned. Table Art run by the amazingly talented and super-chic Kathy Patty, did the most exquisite job ever! There were mismatched jars and vases and a garden of flowers in the middle of the table, which included hyacinth, peonies, chartreuse roses, blue thistle. WE LOVED IT! For the ‘party favors’ we offered silver mint julep cups filled with flowers for “Madmoiselles” and miniature bottles of Pastis for “Messieurs”. This display turned out to be gorgeous – it was like a flower market, with each julep cup carrying either tea roses, bunches of lavender, chartreuse roses, etc… We hung little tags from each that said “Merci”. To continue with the garden theme, we had Honey Wheat bread baked into small clay flowerpots and served with pink-salted butter.
The Paper Materials…I knew I wanted Two Paperdolls to custom design Save the Dates, placecards, table signs, programs, and menu’s for us. They have this magical way of listening to what you want, waving their graphic design wands, and presenting you with, well…you on paper. And pretty paper, at that! They created the most beautiful paper materials for us, even little tags with our branded bird motif to hang on the guest’s take-away gifts that said, “Merci!”.
Photography: Laura Novak Photography / Cinematography: VideoOne Productions / Flowers: Table Art / Event Design: Table Art / Event Planning: I Do Wedding Consulting / Ceremony Location: Greystone Hall / Reception Location: Greystone Hall / Invitations: Two Paperdolls (Save the Dates and Weekend of Materials) and The Papery of Philadelphia (Invitations) / Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Dress: Vera Wang, The Nathalie (From Ever After in Miami)