Are Palm Leaves the New Peony? For This Chic Celebration, They Are!
October 3, 2016
ModernUrban SpaceSummer Weddings
After seeing endless celebrations as a wedding photographer herself, this Bride-to-be knew she wanted something a bit different for her own big day. Think chic and modern, and with palm leaves and stylish black and white decor, she got just that. This urban loft wedding is a breath of fresh air for those Pinterest boards of yours all thanks to Emilia Jane for capturing every bit! See it all this way!
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From the Bride... Brian and I are originally from Bay City, Michigan but currently live in Chicago. When we walked into Loft 310 in Kalamazoo, Michigan (halfway between our two homes) we gasped. The first thing I noticed being a wedding photographer was the beautiful sunlight coming through the windows and I could instantly envision our wedding there. It very much had that Chicago loft feel and the rooftop overlooking downtown Kalamazoo was perfect for cocktail hour. Not to mention a gorgeous penthouse space in the same building that you can rent for the weekend. Once we saw that, we were sold! Nothing like taking the elevator up a quick two floors after your wedding.

As a wedding photographer who has seen dozens and dozens of weddings, I knew I wanted our decor to be a little more bold than the traditional wedding. We had decided on a black and white theme early on, but the inspiration started flowing when thinking about the florals... or really lack there of! I wanted the centerpieces to be a focal point when you walked into the room, as well as have some vertical height. As our guest list was only 115 people, I worried that without tall centerpieces the room would feel too large. We ended up using a mix of banana leaf palms and large ferns as our centerpieces and I loved the big visual impact they had on the room. When someone mentions seeing our wedding photos, they almost always comment on the palms! They were such a fun element to our summer wedding and fun surprise to our guests. Fond of Florals really made our vision come to life! There were however flowers in my bouquet - white ranunculus, white garden roses, sword fern, and of course palms. For the bridesmaid bouquets, they used hostas and geranium leaves, with a little sprinkle of white lilac.

In addition to the palms on the tables, we also placed potted ferns around the room to help make the space feel more full. Our florist kindly planted two of them in gorgeous gold pedestal vessels that anchored each end of the bar along with two candelabras. It made the bar feel so dramatic! My mom added some fun and unexpected accents to the bar. I’m a huge lover of dachshunds (Brian and I got our sweet dachshund pup Millie about eight months after the wedding) and it was a fun surprise to see a gold dachshund figurine amongst the bar decor.

To carry the black and white theme throughout the room, we purchased handmade black and white striped chargers from a previous bride, which we layered with a black napkin, menu card, and a fern spring to accent. We also purchased black and white striped runners for the tables, and had gold candelabras and candles throughout.

As for the dress, well, at one point I thought I wanted a black dress! I was looking for a dress that was elegant and stylish. But ultimately I knew I just wanted something that I felt absolutely amazing in. Once I put on my Blush by Hayley Paige dress I knew it was the perfect fit - classic yet modern. I loved the romantic waves of the skirt and the matching veil with the horsehair hem completed the look. I also purchased an adorable strapless white jumper from ASOS that I changed into after the first dance. The belt I wore with my bridal gown was the perfect addition to my jumper to make it feel more bridal. I had high hopes of also showcasing my gorgeous Badgley Mischka heels with the jumper, but by the time I changed I was ready to kick off my heels and dance. The jumper gave me more freedom to move and my guests loved that I had an outfit change!

One of the smallest, but most important details of the day, were the rings. Brian decided to wear his dad’s wedding ring, who passed away from cancer when he was 15. His parents, Jan and Fred, had a beautiful marriage and one to be admired. I know having a piece of his Dad with him not only on our wedding day, but everyday, was really special to him and myself. The ring is classic – a yellow gold band that has some light etching to it. Between the original etching and the slight scratches from the years of wear, the ring has so much character. As for me, I love the look of stacking rings, so I decided on two wedding bands – a skinny diamond band and a yellow gold band. I love being able to switch up the order of the stack or wear just the bands or the engagement ring some days.

Emilia captured the day so beautifully and we feel extremely lucky to have had such a talented photographer, and close friend, capture our day. Our wedding day was everything we hoped for and so much more, and we are so thankful to our friends and family for celebrating with us!