Look no further than the first set of images by Tammy Horton Photography for one of the coolest DIY projects I’ve ever come across – a ceremony backdrop handwritten by the couple on a long roll of butcher paper. Simple but the result is mega wow with a side of sweet poetry. And it fits right in with this eclectic fête held at The Wherehouse with vintage bits and bobbles at every turn. It’s something old, something new, something borrowed and definitely something blue come to life and you can catch it all right here.

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From the Bride… Dylan and I were engaged in April, 2011 and set the date of the wedding for October 16. In those six moths, the style and theme of our wedding developed organically as we bounced ideas off of one another and began gathering and making the many details that would accent the wedding day itself. We both have eclectic tastes and a love of old objects and contemporary ideas. I feel this sensibility is what inspired the direction we went in the most, and once we decided on one thing, it seemed to inspire the next. The first thing we created was our save-the-date video. Then we created our invitations, inspired by the Milwaukee landscape and the architecture of our wedding venue. Dylan illustrated the invitations by hand, and we printed them on watercolor paper that I painted individually for our guests. We then disassembled, cut and scored maps from vintage atlases to make the inner envelopes for each invitation, and tried to pick places on the map to correspond to each invited guest, whether it was a place they were from or a place we knew they loved. We also used these old maps to make the over 300 origami kusdudama flowers, inspired by the two years I lived in Japan. We folded them for all the bouquets, boutonnieres and table centerpieces. Each flower can take up to 20 minutes to fold and glue, so this did turn out to be the time-consuming part of our decor. My bouquet alone held 36 flowers. We also made one extra large kusudama flower, the folds of which held the cards people gave us.

Beyond the commitment we made to each other, this was a day for us to gather as many of the people we care about together, and we wanted it to be as much fun and little stress as possible. The friends and family we asked to stand up in our wedding wore whatever they liked as long as it was gray (bridesmaids were encouraged to wear blue shoes), and Dylan chose the ties for the men from Etsy. We looked for venues that we felt fit our personality and would show our love of the urban landscape of Milwaukee, so we chose a warehouse-turned-salsa-club in an industrial area near our home. We wanted the ceremony to be as personal as possible, so we asked a dear friend to marry us. We also wanted music to play a large part in the day, so Dylan meticulously planned the playlist. His brothers are all musically talented, and sang the Cat Power version of “Sea of Love’” for the processional.

The largest thing we made for the day was the backdrop for the ceremony. We used a large roll of drawing paper and one of my portable background stands to write poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and Pablo Neruda, which we had our mothers read during the ceremony. My mother helped me write the words with Sumi ink (used in Japanese calligraphy, also inspired by my time in Japan) and we swept the scroll down the aisle similar to an aisle runner. I walked myself down the aisle over those words, and Dylan met me mid-way down. After our mothers read the words we were married on, a friend serenaded us all with The McGarrigle Sisters’ “Walking Song,” and we exchanged our vows. Alice Coltrane’s “Journey to Satchidananda” filled the room as everyone stood and, together, pronounced us man and wife. Our inspirations for our centerpieces were the things we love the most. Photography for Kat, books for Dylan, and love of our family. To start the dance party off we had De La Buena, an amazing Milwaukee Afro Cuban/Latin jazz band — the music choice was partly inspired by the venue. Our caterer, Ball ‘n’ Biscuit, created dishes from around the world (we love to travel). We also had a baker friend make us individual cake pops instead of a traditional cake, and a videographer friend shot sparingly throughout the day on 8mm film. The schedule of the day was very casual — we didn’t have any kind of assigned seating, and we planned the day so that each part flowed into the next with not a lot of breaks in between. Our photographer, Tammy Horton, captured the day better than we could have imagined.

Wedding Photography: Tammy Horton Photography / Wedding Venue: The Wherehouse/Hot Water in Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Officiant: David Ravel (A Friend of the Couple) / Wedding Cinematography: Erik Ljung / Wedding Invitations: DIY by the Bride & Groom / Blue Outer Envelopes: Broadway Paper / Thank You Cards: Photo by Tammy Horton Photography + Hand-Lettered by the Groom / Catering: Ball ‘n’ Biscuit Catering / Cake Pops: Brooke Thiele (A Friend of the Bride) / Ceremony Music: Groom’s Brothers + Friends (Some from Juniper Tar) / Reception Band: De La Buena / DJ: Dori Zori / Pen & Ink Portrait of Bride and Groom: Kristopher Pollard / Hand Lettered Signs for Centerpieces & Tables: Mother of the Bride / Centerpieces: Designed by the Bride / Ceremony Backdrop: DIY by the Bride / Wedding Dress: Vera Wang White / Bride’s Veil: Fine & Fleurie / Bride’s Belt: b. poetic / Bride’s Headband: branchbound / Bride’s Lace Necklace: White Owl / Bride’s Wool Shawl: From Ireland / Bridesmaids Outfits: Their Choice / Chiffon Flowers: JujaCrafts / Groom’s Suit: Brooks Brothers / Groom’s Shoes: bed|stu / Groom’s Socks: Pop Killer / Groomsmen’s Outfits: Their Choice / Men’s Ties: Scatterbrain Ties