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Handmade Archives - New Orleans Weddings - Reception, Venue & Planning
Aug 142013
Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

At their first introduction, Patrick White made Ariel Brewster an offer she couldn't refuse: A free room, complete with a private bath, inside his Riverside Drive apartment. "The catch was that he lived with an elderly woman—a retired logic professor—who kept student boarders to help her with groceries, household tasks and errands," says Ariel, who, along with Patrick, was attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism at the time. After "we'd lived together—and shared eldercare duties—for a few months," Ariel says, the pair started dating.

It was years later, while attending a wedding in Scotland, that Patrick proposed. "One rainy afternoon, we took a gondola up to see Ben Nevis—supposedly the tallest mountain in the United Kingdom—and Patrick proposed at the top," Ariel says. "It was cold, windy and wet, so we were actually crouched behind a boulder when he pulled out the ring."

The couple exchanged vows huddled beneath a tent on yet another rainy day, in what the bride describes as a camp-inspired wedding weekend. "The whole weekend had a cabin-in-the-woods, drinking-around-the-campfire vibe. Gingham, lace and burlap. Old-timey. And wet," she says of their wedding day. "Very wet."

Camping Inspired Wedding Venue Chalkboard Wedding Sign

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"We never wanted to do something big or expensive or traditional," the bride says of the couple's unusual choice of venue—the Loch Lyme Lodge, a summer-camp-turned-rustic-family-resort in New Hampshire. "I wanted something cute and small-town. I had always dreamed about serving strawberry rhubarb pie at my wedding instead of cake--that kind of thing."

The lodge "is furnished with patchwork quilts and old New Yorker covers and very rustic antique furniture—a total hodge podge, but we loved it," Ariel says. "When we visited and were walking around, we said to ourselves, 'This could turn into a really fun summer camp-style weekend for our family and friends.'"

Blue Flower Girl Dresses Blue Flower Girl Basket With Rose Petals

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Rain ruined the couple's plan to wed by the lodge's lake. At the last moment, the ceremony was moved beneath one of two white-and-yellow striped tents, where there was no defined aisle. The last-minute location change "made the flower girl duties kind of tricky," the bride says.

Patrick's nieces and the pair's flower girls Eloise and Simone White were asked to hand guests white daisy mums as they entered the tent. "I think Eloise was a little too shy for it, though," Ariel recalls. "Simone loved it."

Traditional Wedding Vows Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The couple, though both writers, declined to write their own vows. "I guess I wanted to avoid all those cheesy poems I've heard a million times at weddings. And the overwrought lovey-dovey stuff. We just wanted to be married," Ariel says.

A justice of the peace—who doubles as a neighbor and family friend—married Ariel and Patrick, and "had a nice little spiel about growing old together," the bride says. "Short but sweet."

Polaroid Pictures At Wedding Reception

Photo: Jenna Wakani

On a clothesline strung up in the ceremony tent, two friends hung photos of guests throughout the ceremony and into the evening. "It made a nice little arrangements of guest photos in real time," Ariel says.

DIY Wedding Bouquet Ideas

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The bride, with the help of her sister and mother, designed all the couple's floral decor, including matching bouquets. Ariel ordered flowers from a local grocery store and picked them up "Friday morning before the wedding and kept them on the porch of our cabin until we arranged them Saturday morning," she says. The blooms were a pastel-hued mix of freesia, peonies and ranunculus.

Pink Peony Nosegay Bouquet.jpg Stylish Mismatched Bridal Party Outfits

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The bride's sister, Emma, "and I carried matching bouquets we arranged ourselves with sprigs of mint, yellow and peach ranunculus, white freesia and pink peonies," Ariel says.

Emma wore a calico print dress, while Patrick's brother and best man, Silas, sported a blue gingham tie.

Wedding Blues Band For Cocktail hour

Photo: Jenna Wakani

A local bluegrass band, Old Fogey Mountain Boys, crooned to guests during the couple's cocktail hour and into dinner. Guests sipped on craft and domestic beers and wine, and lemonade from a "jar from Pottery Barn, full of Pimms, but it fell off a table during set-up and shattered all over the dance floor. Oops!" says the bride.

Gray Striped Straws Checkered Napkins Wedding Decor DIY Escort Card Ideas

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Guests sat at two rows of 12 burlap and lace-covered picnic tables as they ate bar-b-cue buffet fare. "Bonus: picnic tables come with free bench seating," the bride says. The bride purchased bamboo cutlery that she tied with grey and white twine and placed atop red gingham napkins. "We also put rolls of brown paper towels on the tables, since we were serving ribs," she says.

Purple and Green Wedding Centerpiece

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"My mom put out sap buckets filled with flowers, flea market-sourced whiskey crates and wooden fruit crates filled with annuals, and a few potted white shrubs," for floral reception decor, the bride says. On the tables sat a "combination of teeny bud vases and some birch-bark-wrapped vases I bought on Etsy."

Unique Favors For Wedding Guests

Photo: Jenna Wakani

"We also had lots of picnic blankets and wool Pendleton blankets—all second-hand-store finds, or borrowed—for extra seating, but because it was pouring, people ended up using them as throws and wraps, huddled under the tent!" Ariel recalls.

Strawberry Pie For Wedding Dessert

Photo: Jenna Wakani

The couple didn't have a wedding cake. Instead, they offered guests strawberry shortcake and apple pie on palm leaf plates for dessert.

Bridal Portrait by Jenna Wakani

Photo: Jenna Wakani

Ariel, Patrick and their guests danced until "the music had to be turned off," the brides says. But the party "reconvened around the campfire," with beer, Jim Beam and marshmallows making the rounds around the fire pit in true (adult) camp style. "The next morning, the campfire was littered with empties and soggy hot dog buns!" Ariel says. "Tres chic."

—Jillian Kramer

Venue: Loch Lyme Lodge || Bride's dress: The English Department || Bride's Shoes: Lands' End || Hair Piece: Pemberly Collection || Suit: Tom's Place || Bridesmaid's Dress: ModCloth || Catering: Blood's Catering || Band: Old Fogey Mountain Boys || Photography: Jenna Wakani

A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette

 Blue, Casual, Connecticut, Handmade, Orange, Real Weddings, Romantic, Summer, Whimsical, Yellow  Comments Off on A Cheery Wedding with a Turquoise, Orange and Yellow Color Palette
May 202013

"Aaron asked me out in the most romantic way possible," Christina pretends to brag, then deadpans, "via text message." Yet despite a less-than-script-worthy start, the Connecticut couple took off and two years later, Aaron proposed.

Surrounded by friends and family at a surprise birthday party for the soon-to-be bride, Aaron dropped to one knee and presented Christina with a square-cut diamond ring. "Aaron and I had the tightest embrace ever," Christina recalls, until an excited Aaron attempted to slip the ring on her finger and instead accidentally tossed the diamond onto an outdoor patio, complete with cracks. "After a few seconds of panic, one of my girlfriends found the ring and I was finally able to wear it as an officially engaged woman," Christina laughs.

Working with wedding planner Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs, Christina and Aaron crafted a quirky September affair held in rustic Deep River. With vibrant turquoise accents offsetting an otherwise neutral palette, the couple's wedding took on an atmosphere that Christina describes as "light, fun and lively."

Christina spotted her Melissa Sweet gown online—and was crushed when she discovered the dress had been discontinued. "It had caught my eye online, and I was dying to try it on. Unfortunately, the designer had stopped production of the dress and a single sample was the last of it's kind at The White Dress by the Shore. By some stroke of luck or fate, someone had actually purchased the gown but changed their mind and brought it back.. Once I put it on, it was love. We purchased it on the spot," Christina says. "It's so true when they say that it's just a feeling. When you know, you know."

Christina adored the gown's silk organza overlay, accented with delicate polka dots and tied with a matching sash. "I loved how it was so simple, yet had these amazing and fun details that made it so romantic," she says. Plus, "it hugged my curves in all the right places, but was comfortable at the same time. Comfort is key."

A champagne-colored faux floral hairpiece by Mignonne Handmade softened Christina's half-up-half-down hairstyle.

Kendra Scott's chunky turquoise necklace accentuated Christina's collarbone. "I tend to gravitate towards a statement piece here and there, so decided to go with a couple of accessories to make my overall look pop," Christina explains.

Aaron and his groomsmen donned slim-fit ties by Forage Haberdashery, which crafted the neckpieces from limited-edition blue and orange fabric.

Bridesmaids selected from two knee-length Ivy & Aster dresses in hues of rosemary and grey. "I loved the fun and flirty feel of these dresses," the bride says.

Florists wrapped bright orange ranunculus, white anemones, succulents and a few sprigs of leafy green filler with white lace to create Christina's bouquet. "Just For You Floral Design Studio translated our vision into exactly what we were looking for," the bride gushes.

Dusty miller, wide green leaves and Billy Bobs were mixed with berries and small bright flowers for the groom and groomsmen's boutonnieres. "We loved how non-traditional these were and how each one was different from the next," Christina says.

Boutonnieres were pinned to the lapels of light gray suits, which the men picked out at : Macy's.

Christina and Aaron exchanged vows on the grounds of Mount Saint John, a high school for at-risk boys set on 80 acres of rustic Connecticut real estate. "It had a wonderful vintage feeling," Christina says of the space, "with the actual school serving as a backdrop during the ceremony."

"Short, sweet and non-traditional," the bride says, Christina and Aaron's wedding ceremony included a reading from I Corinthians and humorous dialogue from their officiant—a cousin whom the couple convinced to become a justice of the peace especially for the occasion.

While the couple purposefully kept the ceremony space sparse, "the one thing we did splurge on were two large, beautiful arrangements that stood on each side of the front of the aisle," Christina says.

Trolleys transported guests from the school grounds and to The Lace Factory, where the couple would host their indoor dinner reception. "We were looking for something non-traditional, something that was an arms length away from the typical hotel ballroom," Christina says. Constructed in 1875, the former shipbuilding-yard-turned-event-center combined the historical character and modern amenities the couple craved. "We loved its exposed brick walls and beams, the large bright windows that extended across every wall, the vintage bar," Christina explains.

Christina and Aaron "loved the raw space of our reception venue," so they "tried to use details that would accentuate the space rather than cover what was already there," the bride says. The couple's color palette shown through in bright blue Chiavari chairs and vibrant orange flower arrangements—a nice "pop here and there," Christina describes.

Sheer white swag hung from the building's exposed beams, flanked by sparkling twinkle lights, "adding a touch of softness and elegance to the space," the bride says.

"My absolute favorite?" Christina says. "Two funky, ocean blue chandeliers were hung overhead just below the swags on each side of the room. Love, love, loved these."

A mixture of orange, coral and yellow blooms filled pedestal and bowl-shaped pots, creating a mish-mash of tablescapes across the entire dining room. "We loved how no two tables were alike," Christina says.

Lace overlays laid across champagne linens paid homage to The Lace Factory's name, Christina said. Blue and mercury glass candle holders were scattered across each tabletop.

Neutral-toned tented cards bore table names and numbers.

The couple left a heartfelt thank you to guests at each place setting. The blue-striped Chevron patterned cards were designed by Patti Murphy Designs.

Personalized pint glasses from online retailer Grandstand served as the couple's favors.

Dubbing him their "flower boy," the couple asked a young man to carry a turquoise wood sign that read Here Comes The Bride down the aisle. "As we exited, it turned around to say, 'Hooray!'" Christina says.

Because she wanted to "cut a rug," Christina slipped into a short-and-sassy Ivy & Aster dress during the reception. "I'm still waiting for an occasion where I can recycle this dress," Christina says. "I absolutely love it."

Christina's advice to other couples? "Forget the stress," she says. "Enjoy every second, and be kind along the way. And to remember to stop, take a breath and smell the roses. I found that everything went by much too quickly."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: Ambiance Luxe Wedding Designs || Ceremony Venue: Mount Saint John || Reception Venue: The Lace Factory || Bride's Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet from The White Dress By The Shore || Bride's Shoes: Steve Madden and Ashley Brooks Designs || Bride's Accessories: Kendra Scott and Mignonne Handmade || Bride's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Macy's || Groom's Wedding Ring: M.K. Winston Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Ivy & Aster from The White Dress By The Shore || Groomsmen Attire: Macy's || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Macy's || Florist: Just For You Floral Design Studio || Caterer: Cloud Nine Catering || Stationery: Patti Murphy Designs || Cake Baker: Cloud Nine Catering || Favors: Grandstand || Rentals: Ryan Designs and Rentals Unlimited || Entertainment: Power Station Events || Photography: Michelle Gardella

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