Monday, February 15, 2010

Vendor Review: Lauren Brown Studio

photo by me

Lauren designed our save the dates, invitations, and wedding contract. What initially attracted us to Lauren was her beautiful designs, her willingness to be flexible, and the fact that she could accommodate our small wedding (a lot of the larger vendors have order minimums). I also thought  Lauren put a lot of thought into each of her designs as demonstrated by the fact that each piece has some unexpected surprise element that really sets it apart.

Lauren was very easy to work with it and very responsive. Most of our communication after our initial face to face consultation was via email which worked great for me. For each of our stationery elements she mocked up 3 full samples based on feedback we gave her in regards to our wants, likes, and dislikes. I thought seeing a fully completed piece was very helpful (to get a sense of how everything would come together and not just a digital proof) and the fact that there was a variety of samples also gave us flexibility in choosing elements from each to come to a final design.

I must say that on our invitation Lauren was extremely patient with us because we actually went through 2 design cycles. When we started our planning process my fiance and I were both convinced that we wanted pocketfold invites. And Lauren did three beautiful samples in this style, but something was just not resonating with us. (I think our tastes had changed since our initial meeting just through doing more wedding research.) I had seen pictures of accordion fold programs and fell in love with them, and was seriously thinking that it would be more cost effective to do them as an invite. I suggested this to Lauren and she loved the idea and was completely open to doing another round of designs. I got my sample of her version of the accordion invite and I LOVED IT. I got nothing but raves from my guests.

I was also pleased with our final wedding contract - it was clean, simple, elegant design that tied in perfectly to our invitations and save the date.

Lauren is definitely someone to go to if you want custom work that is sure to WOW.

Making Our Entrance

All images taken by Edmund Moon of Daily Thousand Words Photography

Lining up outside the reception

At the last minute my husband changed our entrance music after catching wind of an idea from my cousin. Our bridal party entrance music was "Flashing Lights" by Kanye West and the original plan was for us to come in to "Good Life" by Kanye as well. But in cohoots with my cousin my husband changed our entrance music to the Monday night NFL theme music. Which I didn't mind and I think our guests got a kick out of it ;)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Intermission from Recaps for DIY Project

I stole this idea shamelessly from Miss. Lightening over on Weddingbee.

I saw the wonderful bridesmaid information cards she made and I knew I wanted to do one as well. I scoured the internet for a vintage picture of an African American bridal party and was able to find the perfect pic.

I then did all my work in Mac Pages after modifying the pic from black and white to sepia tone in Iphoto. It was easy to add a pink border and a pink title (using Burgues font - color does not show well in photo). I then designed the back of the card giving my bridesmaids a timeline of the day with all relevant events for them and then adding at the bottom any pertinent information for day of and contact information for the wedding planners. The roses were done with a font I downloaded from

I printed the cards on shimmery 80lb cardstock which really enhanced the effect of the card.

Card measured 4" x 6"

Food Glorious Food!

Image by Edmund Moon of Daily Thousand Words

After having brunch at the Four Seasons before the wedding both my husband and I knew that we had made the right choice. They hands down have one of the best most elaborate brunch spreads in the city. Their food to put it simply is AWESOME.

Here is what we dined on at our brunch reception. NOM NOM NOM

 Caprese Salad of Fresh Tomato & Mozzarella 
with Basil Dressing 
Classic Caesar Salad
Citrus Flavored Shrimp Salad with Arugula
Penne Pasta, Broccoli Rabe and Tomato 
with Garlic Remoulade
Crustless Spinach & Parmesan Pie
California Style Sushi Roll 
with Soy, Wasabi & Pickled Ginger
Spicy Tuna Roll with Chili Remoulade
Brunch Pairings
Imported Ham and Vermont Cheddar Quiche
Classic Vegetable Quiche
Classic Eggs Benedict 
with Canadian Bacon & Hollandaise Sauce 
French Toast of Raisin Challah Bread, Toasted Almond and Vanilla with Warm Vermont Syrup
Hickory Smoked Turkey Bacon
Country Turkey Sausage
Country Style Yukon Gold Potatoes with Scallions
Lunch Pairings
Carved Roast Tenderloin of Beef Wellington 
with Red Wine Reduction
Pan Seared Grouper Fillet 
with Asparagus Tips and Ginger Fumet
 French Pastries
 Coconut Chocolate Chip Fudge Bar
 Chocolate Terrine with Ganache Glaze
Fruit Tartlets
Brown Sugar Lemon Cake
White Chocolate Macadamia Tart
Lemon Poppy Seed Crumb Cake
Dark Chocolate Mousse 
Coffee & Herbal Teas

It was so beautiful I cried

All photos by Edmund Moon of Daily Thousand Words unless otherwise noted

My reaction after seeing our reception room and expressing my gratitude to our awesome planner Kathy Bado. Yes I have the ugly cry face.

I was able to hold back the tears the whole day, even through my ceremony, but when I walked into my reception room I cried. The whole time the only thing Roosevelt and I could say was "OH WOW!" I felt like it was everything I wanted it to be and more. It was so intimate and romantic. Our florist Maire from Flower Sculpture did a fantastic job on the centerpieces and our planner Kathy and the Four Seasons were wonderful in coordinating everything and adding little touches here and there.

First this is what we feasted our eyes upon outside our reception room.

A good three weeks before the wedding we were still going back and forth as to what our escort table should like. The only thing that was definite is that it should be covered with moss but with what type of florals sitting upon it that was undecided. After a 20 minute conversation with Marie our florist where she outlined what types of florals she wanted to use, I pretty much left it up to her and she did not disappoint. It was different, it was grand and it definitely set the tone for the reception. There were two large glass containers and two smaller ones filled with pomander balls covered in green and white mums. Atop the glass containers were arrangements of hydregena and garden roses. White rose petals were sprinkled on the moss and arrangements of candles flowed out from the center. I did my escort cards myself and went with a simple cream shimmer cardstock with chocolate brown font and a little rhinestone embellishment on each.

Then we walked in and saw our room as they were putting the finishing touches.

I went back and forth about the table setup that I wanted. I originally wanted two long tables, but given the room and the fact that we were having a buffet this was not condusive to an ideal flow. I also hate round tables and from other functions I have attended I knew that they were immediately out. So I decided to rent square tables that sat 8 from Select Event Rentals. I was adamant about renting chivari chairs. I learned from wedding planning that few places have them as part of their standard package. Even the Four Seasons had somewhat unattractive chairs. And they really do make a difference in the look of the room. I had to convince my husband that the extra expense was worth it but he totally agreed once seeing the room. We also went with a taupe colored linen that had a gold undertone for our tablecloths from Total Table. Even though our colors were chocolate brown, pink, and cream I wanted to not be so matchy matchy and pull in our color theme in subtle ways.

We had food stations on 3 sides of the room and Marie and Kathy set up small florals (dahlias, roses, and moss) all around. Also I had purchased a ton of candles wholesale and they were on each table and scattered throughout the room.

We had two different cenerpieces for the four guest tables each made up of roses, hydrengenas, and dahlias. Each of the centerpieces were elevated on boxes covered in moss and pillar and votive candles scattered around the box. Here is a guest pick of one of the centerpieces that had an arrangement on top of a large glass container that held a huge garden rose floating in water.

Guest photo

For our table we had a large arrangement of two stacked moss boxes with a large floral coming out of the top box with rose petals and votives around the base.

For our table numbers I took vintage postcards of Philadelphia that I bought on ebay and applied a sepia tone before printing them out on 5x7 cardstock. I also designed our menu cards and had them tucked in each guest's napkin with spray roses.

On our desert table you could see the customized cupcake bags I made for our guests, the personalized napkins I made with our monogram, and the cupcake signs. We used cake stands from my own collection which were all white and pink to display our cupcakes.

We choose not to go with a large cutting cake but instead went with a 6" small red velvet cake covered in fondant for cutting and cupcakes for our guests. Which was a much more economical choice. Our cutting cake was topped with a clay peony I purchased on etsy from ccbycherie and sat a top a cake stand from my own collection. Our desert table was covered with a bed of moss and sprinkled with white rose petals.

I made chair signs from a tutorial I found on Elizabeht Anne Designs as a way to designate our seats and officially mark us a Mr & Mrs Peterson

In th corner near the door was a display of the boquets surronded by rose petals and candles.

Next up our menu!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

We finally get to see the ROOM

All photos by Edmund Moon of Daily Thousand Words Photography

Stay tuned.

Our Guest Book

All photos by Edmund Moon of Daily Thousand Words Photography

For our guest book we were inspired by the tradition of the Quaker marriage certificate. We wanted something meaningful and not something that would be packed away to collect dust. Also since we had such a small intimate wedding we also wanted something that would be inclusive of our guests. We had Lauren Brown our stationery vendor design a poster sized certificate which she had mounted and we set it outside the reception room for display. On an easel beside the table we had a large fame of family photos of couples in our family with an explanation of the certificate.

After the wedding we had it professionally framed and it now hangs at the bottom of our stairwell and I see it every morning when I come downstairs. A constant reminder of the commitment Roe and I have made to  each other and the people who witnesses our declaration of love.

Later displayed on an easel in our reception room for the formal signing by Roosevelt and me.

Here is the wording of our marriage certificate/contract.

On September 12th, in the year of our Lord, 2009
Nicole XXXXX XXXXX and Roosevelt X XXXXXXX appeared together, 
and Roosevelt taking Nicole by the hand, did, on this solemn and joyous occasion, declare that he took Nicole to be his wife, promising with Divine assistance to be unto her a loving and faithful husband; and then Nicole, did in like manner declare that she took Roosevelt to be her husband, promising with Divine assistance, to be unto him a loving and faithful wife.

And moreover as a further confirmation and declaration of their love they do commit their hand to the following pledge in the presence of God, family, and friends.

To love each other earnestly, with passion and enthusiasm

To love with compassion and understanding and without reservation or judgement

To give the best of themselves and to ask of the other no more than they can give

To strive to achieve their potential as God’s creature and support and celebrate the other’s progress towards this goal

To be open and share with the other their innermost fears and feelings, secrets and dreams

To stay by each other’s side through times of illness, struggle, and poverty as well as times of health, happiness, and prosperity

To respect the other as their own person and to realize that their interests, desires, and needs are no less important than their own

To be patient with each others differences and to remember that they imbue their relationship with resilience, strength, and humor

To be the others rock of support and champion in the face of adversity, to be each other’s advisor and trusted confidant, and to always believe and trust in the others abilities and dreams

To grow together and be willing to face changes in order to keep their relationship alive and exciting

To do what they can to stay healthy and fit in body and mind so that they may age gracefully by each other’s side

To create a home that is welcoming, inclusive, spirited, and inspiring

To celebrate, cherish, and mark the blessing of their union each day

And we having been present at this marriage, hereby set our hands offering our love and support to this union


 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 
1 Corinthians 13 4:7