Ever wonder what would happen if two incredibly talented artists decided to tie the knot in a modern meets vintage DIY extravaganza?!? Well, lovelies, let me be the first to tell you – it is FABULOUS. So fabulous, in fact, that my own personal dream wedding (you know, the one I’ve been fantasizing about since the age of five) just morphed into an elegant (+ FUN) black and white soiree, complete with vintage lace handkerchiefs, candlestick-lined tables and the world’s coolest art gallery location. Turner Creative Photography snapped up all of the glorious details and, trust me, you can’t afford to miss a single minute. See it all here.
From the Bride… Jason and I met while we were both studying art at the same university in St. Louis. For our wedding, we knew we wanted something very personal and uniquely us. After discussing a few options, we agreed to a summer wedding in downtown Alton, Illinois, a beautiful historic district with cobblestone streets and antique shops located on the Mississippi River close to where I grew up. The vintage charm of an old stone cathedral and nearby art center proved to be the perfect locations. The art center was an old furniture store that had recently been converted and renovated into a gallery and artist studio. Jason and I loved the idea of hosting our reception in the center and tying back to our first meeting in a graphic design class. With the venue selection complete, like artists, Jason and I dove straight into “project wedding.” We researched Alton’s history, cut out images of things that inspired us and created an inspiration board that we could use to guide us throughout our planning. Our inspiration was modern vintage. Modern represented our personal taste, while the vintage stayed true to Alton and its long history. Because most vintage pieces are very detailed, it was important that we kept the color palette simple. Black and white played an important role throughout the décor.
Along with our modern vintage inspiration, we envisioned our wedding to be fun, casual and an intimate party for our closest family and friends. Our wedding was a family project. Jason and I, along with our families, created almost everything for it by hand. Jason designed the wedding invitations to mimic a vintage handkerchief. His sister sewed and pressed each one before they were wrapped around an antique inspired map, based off one we found in the Alton Historical Center. We spent months going to estate sales and antique shops, gathering vintage silver and antique napkins to use on our tables. My sister-in-law and mother-in-law made the photo booth props and linen table runners. For the centerpieces, we used wine bottles, which we gathered from family, friends and a few trash cans! Along with the wine bottles, we mixed in floral arrangements that we created using hydrangeas, cushion mums and silver filled with candies. In the end, we polished over 600 pieces of silver, washed and pressed over 200 napkins, cut out over 850 flags, signs and programs, and stripped off the labels of over 250 wine bottles, custom cutting each candle to fit it perfectly.
Shopping for the dress and veil was also a family experience. My father, mother, sister-in-law and mother-in-law were all involved. My dad was the one who actually picked out the dress, and my sister-in-law made my veil. An entertaining highlight of the ceremony was when all five of our nephews came up the aisle ringing bells and announcing “the bride is coming.” For our dance, we created t-shirts for them with the saying, “We rang the bells…now it’s time to shake’em.” All of this played into our humor and underlining bell theme, which first started with our RSVPs and carried out into our ceremony programs and reception décor. The reception was perfect. It began with cocktails in the studio, where guests could eat from a snack bar filled with the our favorite treats and have their photos taken with props. After cocktails everyone moved into the art gallery, where the glow of the candles reflected beautifully off the wine bottles and vintage silver, creating a cozy and romantic atmosphere. This set the mood for the remainder of the night, which was filled with an incredible amount of dancing and personal conversations with each of our guests. At the end of the evening, Jason and I knew that all of our labor and preparations had paid off. Our wedding day was a beautiful, personal event, and it was wonderful to be able to share our love and hard work with our closest family and friends.
Wedding Photography: Turner Creative Photography / Ceremony: Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Alton, Illinois / Reception: Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois / Bouquets + Boutonnieres: Sue Weist / Reception Flowers: Family Members of the Bride & Groom / Wedding Stationery: Custom-Designed by the Groom / Letterpress + Silk-Screen Printing: All Along Press / Catering: Gentelin’s On Broadway / Rentals: Weinhardt Party Rentals / Wedding Dress: Enzoani / Bride’s Ceremony Veil: Made by Sister of the Groom / Bride’s Reception Veil: Etsy / Bride’s Sash: Pronovias / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Bride’s Purse + Jewelry: Vintage / Bride’s Hair: A Cousin of the Groom / Bride’s Makeup: Kim Stuart / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Bill Levkoff / Groom’s Suit: Bar III via Macy’s / Groom’s Shoes: Ted Baker