Camp Kiwanee Wedding by Tyra Bleek Photography
October 3, 2011
New England

Vibrant pops of color, pinwheels and a vintage brooch bouquet are greeting us with open arms this lovely Monday morning and we have Tyra Bleek Photography and this charming Camp Kiwanee wedding to thank for starting our week off in such a wonderful way.  I am absolutely LOVING the mismatched bridesmaid dresses, the organic centerpieces and those amazing yellow heels, but my favorite part of this rustic affair?  The stunning bride and groom (plus friends and family) crafted each and every insanely gorgeous detail themselves... And all with some serious talent and some serious love.  Now that's what I call fabulous.  Join me in the gallery for even more DIY goodness!









Click here to see the entire gallery!

From the Bride... Our whole wedding was one big art project.  I studied metal smithing in college and went on to do display and merchandising for Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters.  Now I teach art at a public elementary school, so I used a lot of ideas from my own studio practice, art lessons and display work to put together all of the elements of our wedding. We enlisted the help of MANY friends.  The maid of honor lives up in Northern New Hampshire; she and her boyfriend cut all of the log risers that we used for the centerpieces.  She also helped to cut the fabric for the pennants that we strung everywhere.  Then my mother-in-law and I sewed them, and we had a stringing party with my sister-in-law.  My mom potted all of the herbs for the centerpieces and hand stamped descriptions of the plants on Popsicle sticks.  She also helped us collect vintage postcards to use for people to write notes to us instead of a guestbook.

James and I had been searching for a place that would have a summer camp feel, and we stumbled upon Camp Kiwanee.  James is a musician, and he found out from a friend that the camp hosted a bluegrass festival there.  We went to visit the camp and loved it, then went back for the festival. Besides being a beautiful location for the wedding, we loved that we could actually use the camp, so we rented out cabins on the property and continued the festivities post reception with a campfire and s'mores.

Our caterers were the amazing Dan and Silvia Moss from Above the Clouds in Billerica.  They took on our vegetarian diets as a creative challenge and ran with it.  They do completely customized menus, so we didn't have to pick from a package; we discussed the kinds of foods we like and then they came up with some choices and we had a tasting. We ended up with some delicious appetizers, a pasta bar, and two other drool-worthy entrees.  Having a completely vegetarian wedding was something we felt strongly about, and we think just about everyone was happy with what Dan and Silvia came up with.

The stationary was a labor of love.  For our invitations I used Paper Source papers and a woodgrain stamp with white ink for the background, then a yudu machine to silkscreen the text.  I printed the menus and the table names myself and enlisted help from my sister-in-law to glue the table cards to little birch logs that James had cut.  The programs were printed by my other sister-in-law who is a graphic designer.  We had friends and family help prep the programs and pop them into handles to make paddle fans.

Our rings were a collaboration with my very talented friend Nikky Bergman.  She and I met in the undergraduate metalsmithing program at MassArt in Boston.  We worked together to design my engagement ring last year using a star ruby that my mom gave us (ruby is both James' and my birthstone).  We designed our wedding bands with Nikky and she handcrafted everything in her Somerville studio.  She incorporated diamonds from my grandmother's wedding band into one of my bands.

For my own flowers I made a bouquet from vintage broaches.  Some were donated by family and friends, others I had already owned.  I found a tutorial online and was able to pull it all together about a month before the wedding.  I gave each of the bridesmaids a vintage broach for their bouquets too.

The camp did not allow candles, so we made our own "firefly jars" using battery operated tea lights and repurposed jam and salsa jars we collected since our engagement.  James sprayed the jars with a frosted glass spray paint and sprayed the lids gold. We used the lights on tables and along the porch. The ceremony was also uniquely personal.  Our officiant, Jenney Gallerane is a licenced celebrant.  She also happens to be the mother of James' best friend/best man, and one of my bridesmaids/dear friend.  She's known James since he was born, and she worked with us to craft an intimate, sometimes whimsical ceremony that was truly special.  We had friends play music during the ceremony too.  My cousin sang "Blackbird" and "Two of Us," by the Beatles as the processional and recessional respectively, and she sang "Moon River" when I walked in.  Our guitarist was a local musician, Clayton Willoughby who also played our cocktail hour, and brought his vintage car for us to pose with.

Wedding Photography: Tyra Bleek Photography / Wedding Venue: Camp Kiwanee / Catering: Above the Clouds / Wedding Dress: J.Crew / Hair: Philip de Palma / Suits: Men's Wearhouse / Ties: J.Crew / Rings: Nikky Bergman / Pinwheels: The Little Black Shop + Paper Polaroid / Flowers: Rhapsody in Bloom