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DIY Wedding on Block Island with a Watercolored Gown

Watercolor details are fast becoming a wedding world darling and this Bride has embraced them with open arms. Painterly tid bits are woven throughout the day from the stationery to the dress – yes, that gorgeous gown crafted by her fashion designer Mom is indeed watercolored – and to say it’s a beauty is a gross understatement. The whole affair is a fusion of approachable, fun elegance captured by Katie Slater Photography. See it all here.


From Katie Slater Photography…Julia and Jonathan are one of our favorite couples of the year! They totally win the award for “cutest, most laid back, totally madly in love couple of the year” if there is such a thing. This wedding is filled with DIY touches made by the bride. The girl water colored everything she could get her hands on….including her custom made silk ballgown! She’s such a free spirit. You’ll want to be her bestie as soon as you see these pictures. Speaking of….this. gown. It’s to die for. It was lovingly created by her fashion designer Momma! We can’t stop looking at it.

From The Bride…I’m not a formal human being. Jonathan is a bit more proper than I am, but also generally really jovial and easy-going. So, having a big wedding and keeping it approachable and lively and equal parts elegant and casual was our biggest goal. I didn’t want anything to feel put on. (Though having said that, I am extraordinarily particular, visually, so I wanted to perfectly curate all of that informality. Now you’re probably getting a sense of my particular brand of insanity.)

From the beginning, I was in pretty deep on the whole DIY thing. I’m fairly hands-on, generally, and I also felt that if this was going to be a big extravaganza, per my husband’s wishes, I wanted it to feel as personal as possible. This was a celebration of our life together with our most-loved-ones; I wanted my own hands on every single inch of it.

I knew almost immediately that I would paint my dress, so I was testing various paints and dyes on different kinds of washed and unwashed silks before we even had a venue. Secretly from my husband, of course. Interestingly enough, he never asked why I had so many paints when I am not a painter.

I then designed our Save The Dates and decided to hand-letterpress them. This did not go quite as planned, so I ended up blind embossing and then hand-inking each one. This was my lowest point in the process, probably. But! It led me to the wonderful people at Coeur Noir when it came time to print our invitations. I was so psyched that I got to work with such an amazing hometown business and they executed my designs beautifully, while walking me through a lot of specs and details very patiently.

I water colored and did the calligraphy for each invitation’s envelope and designed a return-address stamp as well. Designed/calligraphied/drew the welcome letter, map, and menus. And then subsequently did the calligraphy for the top of each (pre-printed) menu. And also the table assignments. Man, looking back, that was a lot of paper.

We also put together little welcome baskets in those lovely teal berry containers and dropped them around the island. Block Island’s signature cocktail is a banana mudslide, so Jonathan and I (and a couple AMAZING friends) put together small bottles with mudslides, and added them to the baskets with a banana, some Cape Cod chips, and water. Again, I water colored the bottle labels. Oy.

I made a morning-of decision to buy all the mason jars I could at the local grocery store (I don’t think anyone even knows I did this), which I then handed to my mother and her amazing friends, along with scraps of leftover rose-gold sequin fabric from my rehearsal dinner dress. They put together our votive holders with the jars, sequins, and extra fabric from my blush-colored veil.

I’m trying to think if there was anything else we did beyond the piles of paper. Do the globe lights I bought online and then forced my family to hang day-of-wedding count? I did also write a song for Jonathan that my younger sister and father performed during our ceremony. Music is not really what you think of as DIY, but… well, I did do it myself.

I feel so materialistic saying it, but the dress reveal was SUCH fun. My mom is a designer and we’ve been trading ideas on my wedding dress for years. The shape was modeled on a 2008 Oscar De La Renta dress that I’ve loved forever, though we rounded the neckline, inspired by another gown she had done. That original Oscar dress had had flower apliques as well, and I think those played a big role in my ultimate desire to paint. Designing, making, and painting the dress was such an amazing mother-daughter experience and one I wouldn’t trade for the world. And (per my mom’s prediction) when Jonathan saw me walk down the aisle, he give a great big laugh. That was the best.

Photography: Katie Slater Photography | Floral Design: Blazing Star Farms | Wedding Dress: Kathryn Conover Couture | Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar | Reception Venue: Spring House Hotel

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Block Island Wedding

Block Island weddings are magical, that’s a well-known fact.  But when you combine a breathtaking setting like Block Island with vibrant pink peonies from Blazing Star Farms and a sweeter than sweet duo, it takes that magic and kicks it up a notch or two.  Think a darling puppy and nautical stylings throughout.  See every gorgeous moment captured by Olivia Gird Photography right here.


From the Bride… I was never the little girl who dreamed about her wedding, but I always knew it would absolutely be on Block Island, where I had spent my summers from birth. It became a special place for Jack and I as well during the course of our relationship, and a place we were excited to share with all our friends who had never seen it. Danielle Dziok at The Spring House made everything supremely easy, and we had a lot of fun planning. More than anything we just wanted the wedding to be fun, both for us and for everyone attending. We tried to incorporate both of our backgrounds into the ceremony, and also included details throughout honoring Block Island as well as Philadelphia, where we met and our home for four years.

When the big weekend rolled around, a full-on tropical storm hit Friday afternoon just as everyone was trying to get on planes and boats to head out to the island. Some people got stranded and we were crazed trying to help with contingency planning for everyone, but once our guests made it to the island they were that much more excited to be on dry land with a beer in hand. The morning of the wedding was glorious, and though it was touch-and-go during the ceremony, by the end of the evening it was positively balmy! We had such a blast with all our family and friends (including our dog, Rosie) laughing and dancing the night away. Six months later we still talk about how much we wish we could get married all over again, we had so much fun. 

Photography: Olivia Gird Photography | Gown: Plumed Serpent | Cake: Sweet Indulgence | Rings: Adorn Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: ModCloth | DJ: DJ Libre/Danielle Duffy | Groom's Attire: Express Men | Officiant: Richard Kyte | Bridemaids Shoes: Jack Rogers | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Spring House Hotel

Block Island Wedding at the Spring House Hotel

Have you ever been to a wedding where your heart just wanted to burst out of your chest because you were so darn happy for the two people tying the knot? Well, that’s just how I felt when I watched Cheryl and Ben say I do. Thanks to their team of ridiculously talented vendors (including True EventHana Floral Design and Jennie Fresa) their day was just as perfect as they are, and every fabulous moment captured by my dear friend, Leila Brewster, is waiting for you right here.


From the Bride..Ben and I are beach bums during the summer. We both grew up spending our summers on the Atlantic Ocean in our respective beach towns in Rhode Island and New Jersey. Over the years I’ve adopted his Rhode Island beach town as my own which helped our decision to get married on Block Island.

Not having any experience with planning weddings, I immediately contacted my good friend and wedding guru Abby Capalbo for help. She knew this email would be coming her way years in advance and immediately put me in touch with Sarah of True Event and Leila of Leila Brewster. Ben and I didn’t know specifically what we wanted we just knew we wanted our wedding to be relaxed, elegant and most of all fun. Sarah knew exactly what we were looking for and created a theme and feel that was perfect for us and somehow made all these ideas come to life. She proceeded to connect me with a group of vendors who I refer to as the A-Team because they were all simply the best.

We chose green and white with pops of yellow for our colors just because green and yellow are our favorite colors. They ended up complimenting The Spring House with its enormous green lawn. Yumiko of Hana Floral went above and beyond by making all the flowers classic yet wild which really added to the casual elegance of the whole day.

Leading up to our wedding we knew we would be happy through out the day but we were both surprised by the sheer elation we felt the entire time. Leila and Mike of Buzz Media Company somehow captured that happiness. Our wedding was far and away the best day we’ve ever had.

Photography: leila brewster | Floral Design: Hana Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: Minted | Reception Venue: Spring House Hotel | Bridesmaids' Dresses: | Make up: Jennie Fresa | Hair: Antonio Sauza | Lighting: Ryan Designs | Band: Pat Roddy Band | Coordination + Design: True Event | Detail Signs : Michelle Dowling | Getting ready shirts : Pretty Personal Gift | Linens: La Tavola | Photo booth: Photo Booth planet | Rentals: Rentals Unlimited | Video : Buzz Media Company | Welcome Bags: Branders

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