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Holly and Dan’s Backyard Wedding | Indianapolis, IN | Day-of-Coordination

Here’s another throwback post for you – this couple will be celebrating their 2nd anniversary in just a few weeks!!

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Holly and Dan found us through A Practical Wedding. They were living in San Francisco and planning a wedding in Indianapolis, and wisely decided to get some help pulling everything together!

So, we harnessed the power of the internet for video chats and many emails, added a few phone calls for good measure, and then made the quick drive down to Indianapolis for their wedding weekend! (Yes – we travel!)

Speaking of details, there are so many from this wedding that I’d like to share with you…

When I pulled up to this beautiful home, I immediately felt I was in an era of old Hollywood glamour! Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

This is Holly’s grandmother’s house. It is unbelievably beautiful. Of course they leapt at the opportunity to use it at the backdrop for their wedding! Aside from its obvious charm, this house is a place where the two of them had spent many, many days together so it holds a special place in their hearts.

Don't you love this outdoor family photo wall? Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

They decided to fully embrace the era of the home, using vintage colored glass goblets at their place settings and retro cotton prints for the napkins and table linens. Each table had a different print, and Holly sewed all of the linens herself.

Vintage goblets and bowls gave the wedding a retro vibe. Photo: Eric Rudd Photography

And my favorite thing? The seating assignments! Holly made magnets using the same fabrics as the tablecloths and napkins and used them to hold up polaroids of each guest; they found their table by matching the magnet to the tablecloth. What fun!

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After a lovely ceremony in the side yard, everyone moved through the historic home for cocktail hour, and then into a tent in the backyard for the reception. Though they’d loaded an iPod with music for the night, it ended up mostly collecting dust – Holly’s Uncle and his band were expected to play for an hour or two, but they honored the crowd’s request to go all night long!

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Congratulations and Happy Anniversary, Holly & Dan!

VENDORS
Officiant: Dan’s Brother
Photography: Eric Rudd Photography
Catering & Cupcakes: Monon Food Company
Florist: Circle City Planners
Band: Holly’s Uncle Tim
Hair & Makeup: Spa French Pharmacie
Vintage Rentals: Violet Vintage
Tent & Other Rentals: A Classic Party Rental
Portable Restrooms: Hoosier Portable Restrooms
Transportation: Integrity Limo Service

All photos were taken by Eric Rudd Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Meghan + Stephan | Lakeside Inn | Lakeside, Michigan | Day-of-Coordination

Continuing with our recap of weddings and projects, today I’d like to take you on a short trip to Michigan for Meghan and Stephan’s cozy lakeside celebration!

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We met these two at the Indie Wed show waaaaay back in the winter of 2012, which makes sense because their wedding was in the fall of 2012, which means, yes, I’ve been holding onto their stories and photos for a year and a half without sharing. Sorry. I hope you’ll agree it was worth the wait.

Meghan and Stephan rented out the quaint Lakeside Inn for a weekend of celebration. (Note: if one of your priorities is spending quality time with all of your guests, hosting them all for a cozy long weekend is a sure way to make that happen!)

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They planned an outdoor ceremony on the grounds behind the Inn, with the reception following inside. Unfortunately mother nature had other plans, and after setting up the chairs, taking down the chairs, and setting them up again, we had to make the call to move the whole party indoors due to rain.

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BUT. It wasn’t so bad, because we ended up staging the ceremony in front of the Inn’s lovely stone fireplace. With candles lining the aisle and their lovingly handmade details featured behind them, it was one of the warmest and most romantic settings you could dream up for a wedding.

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One of my favorite parts of this wedding was the inclusion of a few traditions from Stephan’s Ukrainian heritage. During the ceremony, there was a part similar to a handfasting, during which the officiant wrapped their hands in a traditional cloth, beautifully embroidered by Stephan’s mother. They took a walk three times around the altar to signify that marriage is a never-ending journey. At the start of the reception, they had some private moments with each other and their immediate families, where they broke a traditional korovai bread and shared it together.

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Custom spilled over onto the dance floor with a few traditional Ukrainian songs and dances. These two had one of the most rockin’ dance parties I have ever seen! Virtually every guest was on the dance floor, and most of them stayed there all night long.

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I couldn’t have asked for a lovelier couple or nicer friends and family to spend a weekend in the woods with. Congratulations Meghan and Stephan!

VENDORS
Venue: Lakeside Inn
Catering: Cravings Catering
Officiant: Rev. Carol Munroe Mosley
Photographer: Amanda Megan Miller Photography (follow the link for more photos!)
Florist: Asrai Garden
Cake: Bit of Swiss Bakery
DJ: Rachel of Toast and Jam DJs

All photos were taken by Amanda Megan Miller Photography and are reposted here the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are not available for reproduction, redistribution, or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Kinzie + Donnie’s Do-It-Together Wedding at The Art Theatre – Champaign, IL

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I first met Kinzie through A Practical Wedding and we became fast friends. I think I speak for both of us when I say I feel like we’ve been friends for decades already, even though that’s hardly the case. We have a lot in common, primarily a love of cooking and eating good food and belting show tunes at the top of our lungs in the car. When I met Donnie, it was easy to see they are a perfect match. I was truly honored to be part of their wedding day last May. (Yes, I am officially more than a year behind on blogging the work we have done…)

Kinzie and Donnie planned a wedding that was so very them: focused on their (delightful) families and friends, without neglecting artistic details. Let me show and tell some of my favorite parts!

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Since movies have played a key role in their relationship and they got married n a movie theater, they decided to embrace that theme – the ceremony began with a video they shot, starring themselves and their cats, which included the message to silence cell phones. They served popcorn in the lobby and made a movie poster for the feature film – their wedding – which was hung outside the entrance. The theater even announced their wedding with a custom marquee.

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They had one of the most touching ceremonies I’ve had the privilege to witness, officiated by a dear friend, with live music from another and a video reading of That Yucky Love Thing. The ceremony was slightly derailed when, overcome with emotion, Kinzie flung her arms around Donnie and kissed him before the prescribed time. In case you were wondering, this is the best kind of derailment a ceremony can take!

In what is a truly awesome feat, they fed nearly 200 people a delicious vegetarian meal prepared by… those delightful friends and family members I mentioned earlier. The crack catering team, headed by Kinzie’s Grandma Iris and Noo, a longtime friend and neighbor, put together salads, stews, and the most amazing guacamole I have ever tasted. Delicious soups were procured from their local Food Co-op. They easily rivaled the best caterers I have worked with, both on taste and teamwork. If only they were going into business, I would tell all my clients to hire them. =)

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They topped the dining tables with butcher paper, and left crayons and scissors so guests of all ages could create some artwork to leave behind for them. Simple centerpieces were made with farmers’ market flowers and empty wine bottles. The custom labels, designed by Donnie’s sister, feature an animated version of the two of them.

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For their cake, they served a homemade angel food cake – the same kind that Kinzie’s grandmother had at her wedding. The tablecloth beneath it was sewn by her great-grandmother. I really love it when couples choose to carry on traditions like this. Whether or not you adhere to the something-old-something-new thing, it is special to have bits of your family history with you as you mark the occasion.

Instead of a traditional guestbook, guests stamped a fingerprint and signed their names onto a tree (hand-painted by Kinzie!) to form leaves in shades of green. I have to say, this may be my favorite option in the current trend of not-your-parents’ guestbooks. I’m a big fan of something you can display prominently in your home to remind you of all the love and support your marriage has.

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They proved that a great iPod playlist can keep the dance floor rocking all night long – this crowd actually booed the last song, and did not want to leave!

And finally, they are just so in love with each other than you can’t help but be swept up in it when you’re around them.

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Kinzie, Donnie – I really mean it when I say I am so happy I was invited to your celebration, and I know you have many, many years of love and laughter ahead!!

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: The Art Theater
Reception Venue: McKinley Foundation
Photography: Wasabi Photography
Soups: Common Ground Food Co-op
Everything else – food, decorations, flowers, music – was done by Kinzie, Donnie, and their incredible community of friends and family!

All photos were taken by Wasabi Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa and Bill’s Family-Centered Wedding at the Morton Arboretum – Lisle, IL

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Lisa found us through the Offbeat Bride Tribe. (Side note: we are becoming an official Offbeat Bride sponsor in February!) We hit it off instantly when we met up at the Morton Arboretum on a very cold day last winter. She told me about her wedding plans: a morning ceremony surrounded by thirty of their nearest and dearest, including a gaggle of kids; photos in the Fragrance Garden afterwards; a brunch of comfort foods and bellinis; and lots of crafty details.

Best Buddies.

Best Buddies. With matching bow ties.

What I loved most about Lisa and Bill’s wedding was the love you could feel between all of their family members and guests. Bill’s son served as the “Best Buddy” and their collection of nieces and nephews made up the wedding party, referred to throughout as The Minions. They are a rambunctious, happy bunch to be around, and their energy made the day both festive and relaxed. It’s pretty damn near impossible to be worried about anything when you’re in the midst of a bubble-blowing fest and skirt-twirling contest!

See? Love! Heaps and heaps of it.

See? Love! Heaps and heaps of it.

Lisa and Bill had a short and sweet ceremony, officiated by a dear friend, and then braved the chilly early-April temperatures to take photos outside. Inside, the room was filled with lots of handmade details – Lisa spent months folding paper flowers for the bouquets and the centerpieces (they look great, don’t they??) as well as making flower corsages for each of their guests. A family member made crocheted headbands for the girl minions; the boys each had a special flower corsage.

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But maybe my most favorite part? After feeding each other the first bite of cake, the kiddos all lined up and each got a turn being fed a bit too!

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To sum it up: this was a super fun and relaxed wedding full of people who genuinely love each other and their families a lot – and that is kinda the best thing ever. I loved being part of this day.

Congratulations Lisa and Bill!

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VENDORS
Venue: The Founders Room at the Morton Arboretum
Officiant: Friend of the couple
Photographer: Timothy Whaley
Catering: Classic Fare (in-house caterer for the Arboretum)
Cake: The Cakery
Flowers: Made by the bride

All photos were taken by Timothy Whaley Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Caitlin and Mike’s University of Chicago Wedding – Bond Chapel and The Quad Club – Chicago, IL

Let’s go way back to April as I attempt to catch up on blogging this year’s weddings and projects…

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Caitlin and Mike found me through APW and hired me to coordinate their wedding at the University of Chicago. Where Mike was finishing up his PhD roughly one week prior to the wedding. After which they were planning a cross-country move for a new job. I am tired just thinking about all that, never mind planning a wedding in the middle of it! However, they took it in stride and planned a lovely April wedding.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

The Bond Chapel (which you may remember from Liz & James’ wedding) is a gorgeous historical building, and made a beautiful spot for their ceremony. One of the things I loved most was the blessing they included – they asked several friends, each of different cultures, to say a prayer in their language (Irish, Indian, Hebrew, and Greek) for the marriage – I am a foreign language nerd so I really loved this part.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Cocktail hour featured the Parkwest Strings, who at Caitlin’s request, learned the Downton Abbey theme song. If you love that show as much as I do, you know how thrilled I was to hear that familiar tune.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

The reception was fantastic, in no small part because they hired the Matt Stedman Band to play for the party. I highly recommend them if you are looking for a wedding band – they had a good mix of musical genres and kept the dance floor full all night. When it came time for cake cutting, they’d chosen a comically large meat cleaver to hack their first married cupcake in half.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Finally, I have to mention the favors they made – they took square floor tiles and put pictures of each of the four states they’d lived in one them, turning them into unique coasters for each guest to take home.

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Caitlin and Mike – I hope you have settled into your new home and are enjoying married life to the fullest on the west coast! CONGRATULATIONS!

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

Photo © Matthew Kuehl http://kuehlphoto.com

VENDORS
Ceremony Venue: Bond Chapel at the University of Chicago
Reception Venue: Quadrangle Club at the University of Chicago
Photographer: Matthew Kuehl Photography
Florist: A New Leaf
Officiant: Elizabeth Harding, Midwest Ceremonies
Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Musicians: Parkwest Strings
Reception Band: The Matt Stedman Band
Chair Rental: Tablescapes

All photos were taken by Matthew Kuehl Photography and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

Elizabeth and Brian’s Morning Wedding and Luncheon Reception – Spiaggia Private Dining Rooms – Chicago, Illinois

Elizabeth and Brian are my kind of people. Why? Because their number one priority for their wedding was FOOD. And, as you may be aware, I like food. I like to make it, to eat it, to talk about it, and to eat it some more. So whenever I find people I can do that with, I’m home. (In fact, we all love food so much that we got together earlier this year to have dinner together. I really, really love it when we hit it off with our clients so much that we hang out after their weddings are over!)

So – with that as a priority, they chose Spiaggia for their venue and catering. Now, you may recall, that right after this wedding happend (in October! Yes, I am behind!) I posted about the food. Because it was excellent. You may recall how I’ve attempted to recreate that beet, apple, goat cheese, and prosciutto salad a few times. Anyway, now that I’ve drooled, let me tell you about the rest of the wedding.

Elizabeth and Brian got married on a brisk October morning, coinciding with the anniversary date of Elizabeth’s great grandparents (if I recall correctly – I hope!) – which I think is an excellent way to connect your new family with your existing one. I LOVED Elizabeth’s wedding dress, because it was a 1930s-style, bias-cut gown, which is exactly the kind of dresses we are obsessed with, and she was stunning in it. Brian looked dapper as well.

These two were so calm, and so ready to get married. No last-minute nerves, no pacing, just joy. Which is awesome. They had a lovely ceremony in front of the floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Michigan Avenue, and walked back down the aisle to the Star Wars theme – a surprise to everyone except Brian!

What I loved most about this wedding is that Elizabeth and Brian were so focused. They knew exactly what was important for THEM at their wedding, and they had the courage to let everything else go. I think that is a crucial part of loving your wedding (and preserving your sanity while planning it) – to ignore all the trends and the people who say “You must do it this way, or it isn’t a wedding!” and just do what works for you.

Congratulations Elizabeth and Brian!

Vendors
Venue/Catering:
Spiaggia Private Dining Rooms
Photography:
Studio Finch
Cake:
Sarah’s Pastries & Candies
Flowers:
Flowers by Color

All photos were taken by Studio Finch, are protected by copyright, and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. They are not available for reproduction or redistribution. Please contact the photographer for more information regarding the photos in this post.

Tempe and Derek’s Pub Wedding – The Old Oak Tap – Chicago, IL

Tempe and Derek Chicago Wedding at Old Oak Tap. Photo: Starbelly Studios www.starbellystudios.com

With this is the post, you’ll be completely caught up with our business dealings! And then we’ll be back to our usual food talk with craftiness on the side.

Tempe was a radiant bride. Photo by Timmy Samuels of Starbelly Studios.

Tempe was in one of the first shows I ever stage managed professionally. I was fresh out of school, I’m sure I didn’t know what I was doing yet, and Tempe was cast as a mime in this little operetta that was an… interesting… experience for everyone involved.*

We got to know each other and then didn’t work together ever again. But we kept running into each other – the theatre world is a very small one – and became friends. So when she announced her engagement to Derek, my congratulations was followed immediately with two things.

1. Go read A Practical Wedding, which is my first piece of advice to everyone who gets engaged; and

2. Please, please, please let us stage manage your wedding!

I’m thrilled to report that they followed both pieces of advice. So now, let me tell you about them and their wedding.

Walking up the aisle together. Photo by Timmy Samuels of Starbelly Studios.

Tempe and Derek got hitched on the outdoor patio of a gastropub on a warm and sunny August evening. They got a real city wedding – since the venue was on a major thoroughfare, we got to pause a few times for cars thumping loud summer jams and a few wailing sirens to pass by!

They had a good friend officiate, and she put a surprise into their ceremony – just before Tempe and Derek exchanged their vows, each of their mothers stood up and said a few words to them. It was really sweet, and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house afterwards. They also did something in their ceremony which we loved – after the vows they took a moment to whisper whatever private words they wanted to add into each other’s ears. Isn’t that a great idea?

Ridiculously happy after exchanging vows. Photo by Timmy Samuels of Starbelly Studios.

And then, they were so happy. I think this is the best part – right after a couple is pronounced married, there’s a freedom to celebrate like nobody’s watching, to just be giddily, outrageously in love – that’s the best moment of a wedding if you ask me. And I LOVE that I get to help make it happen.

The reception was tons of fun. They had a photo booth with a bunch of silly props, made a grand entrance down the staircase, and danced their booties off. The food was the main reason they picked their venue, and it was stellar. At the end of the night, they planned to take a taxi home, but friends surprised them with a limo ride instead!

Tempe and Derek folded hundreds of paper cranes together for their centerpieces. Some very lucky kiddos got to take them home. Photo by Timmy Samuels of Starbelly Studios.

It was an excellent celebration of two wonderful people.
Congratulations Tempe and Derek!

VENDORS
Venue & Catering: The Old Oak Tap
Officiant: Friend of the couple
Photographer: Starbelly Studios
Florist: 
Friend of the couple
Cakes: Friend of the couple
Entertainment: Diana Lawrence
Photo Booth: BG Photobooths

All photos were taken by Starbelly Studios and are reposted here with the photographer’s permission. Photos in this and all posts are protected by copyright, and are are not available for reproduction, redistribution or any other purpose without written authorization from the photographer.

*I’m not gonna name names or anything, but the married couple who directed it did more bickering than directing, and were ultimately fired 10 days before the opening night. At which point we scrapped everything and started completely over and somehow managed to open on time. It was… challenging. And makes for a great story.

Travis and Jacqueline’s Public Square Wedding with Pizza and Beer Reception – Giddings Plaza (Lincoln Square) and Market Bar – Chicago, IL

As we continue to catch you up on our Crafty Broads projects, today’s post is about the very first wedding we stage managed (aside from our own, obviously) – Jacqueline & Travis.

Jacqueline & Travis - July 3, 2011

Jacqueline & Travis

Jacqueline found us through A Practical Wedding, by way of the Chicago contingent of readers nattering on Facebook. She and Travis were looking for someone to manage the setup of their reception, specifically to make sure the wedding wish bowl and family photos were arranged the way they wanted. We had a chat (via internet, as they currently live in Fargo, but were getting hitched in Chicago) and agreed to take care of it for them. After some more discussion of their wedding, it sounded like they could really use a little more help than that, and we were thrilled when they asked about the possibility of coordinating the whole shindig.

Jacqueline works with historic costume and textiles, and as you might imagine, when she mentioned her line of work, there was some giddiness on our end. A fashion historian who needs wedding help and had a 1930s-style bias cut gown made for the occasion? Perfect client for us. And Travis? He’s a wedding photographer and works around most of the midwest. Check out his work and hire him here. For obvious reasons, he couldn’t take pictures at his own wedding, but he did dream up and design a photo booth for the reception – there was a monitor to see yourself on and he rigged up a foot pedal to stomp when you were ready to snap the picture. From the perspective of crafty, tinkering nerds, I can say this was really awesome. And different from the usual small curtained room styles you see everywhere these days.

Cindy cueing Travis to enter the cermony.

Travis waits for Cindy

Travis and Jacqueline had a lovely outdoor ceremony on a really gorgeous day in Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood. They made ribbon wands in their wedding colors for all the guests to wave when they shared their first married kiss – an excellent and fun idea! And it looked really cool.

They and their guests traveled to and from the day’s events on the L trains, which I love, love, love. It’s fun, it’s good for the planet, it’s cheaper than parking, and you get awesome pictures. Win-win.

Jacqueline & Travis First Dance - July 3, 2011

Jacqueline & Travis shared their first married dance as the sun set over the city.

And their reception? Pizza (the really good kind) and an ice cream sundae bar (Yes! Yes.) on a rooftop deck with an amazing view of the city skyline. They shared a first scoop together and then danced in the setting sun. Beautiful.

We had a blast coordinating their wedding, and we’re truly lucky they took a chance and hired us. It was just the experience we needed to decide we definitely want to continue stage managing weddings.

Congratulations, Jacqueline and Travis!