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Vintage Frontier Wedding

Rustic Weddings

This bride planned her wedding with a vision of a “West Virginia heritage/western frontier/1930s vibe” — are you as on board as we are? Her ideas came together brilliantly for a truly unique affair with the help of the lovely Emily Porter behind the camera. This is one gallery you won’t want to miss!

vintage train west Virginia frontier wedding

From the bride: Jeff and I both love West Virginia and wanted to celebrate some of the things we love most about it. We decided to plan a destination wedding very close to home. Along with about 15 of our guests, we took the train from our home in Charleston to White Sulphur Springs. Making this trip a part of the day meant a lot to me because it took us through the New River Gorge, a historic and very scenic area where I grew up, during fall foliage season. The train excursion, though, is much more than just a fall foliage train ride. Much of this stretch of the New River Gorge is inaccessible by car, making the trip a unique opportunity to view the beautiful New River Gorge up close — passing ghost towns, old coal mining sites and numerous scenic spots tucked deep into the Gorge. Our destination was the Greenbrier Resort, another historic icon unique to West Virginia.

vintage train west Virginia frontier wedding

We wanted our wedding to feature the natural beauty of West Virginia. We also leaned toward a vintage feel, which developed very naturally from the train trip, which just makes people feel nostalgic, to the Greenbrier Resort, which has been around since the 18th century.

vintage train west Virginia frontier wedding

vintage train west Virginia frontier wedding

I love DIY projects and was so thankful that the Greenbrier allowed us to provide most of the decor ourselves. For the centerpieces, we used Fostoria glassware, which came from the factory in Moundsville, WV when it closed a few years ago. Other centerpiece containers were wooden boxes, originally antique sewing machine drawers, which I found at local antique shops. I made all of the table runners from vintage lace doilies and place mats and I made a vintage brooch bouquet which held some pieces that belonged to friends.

vintage train west virginia frontier wedding

vintage train west virginia frontier wedding

The most time-consuming but enjoyable projects were the save-the-dates and invitations. For our save-the-dates, we used vintage postcards from the Greenbrier, which we found at a local antique store. Most of them were from the 1930s and 40s. We wanted our invitation to look like a vintage broadside poster, so we designed it ourselves and had it printed onto folded 7″ x 15″ cardstock. The postage stamps used to mail the cards, invitations and thank you notes were over 50 years old and were purchased unused from a local stamp and coin shop.

vintage train west virginia frontier wedding

We used a double wedding ring quilt, made by my grandmother, as a table cover on the gift table. Other DIY items were the flag bunting cake topper, and the cheer flags that we handed out for guests to cheer for us as we arrived at the venue.

vintage west Virginia frontier train wedding

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? I had heard this before, but it bears repeating. Something will go wrong. For us, the worst thing that could go wrong with our planning was for the train to be late that day. Sure enough, the train was 3 hours late! But you know what? Everything still turned out perfectly. My advice is to accept that everything may not go as you had planned, but know that, as long as you have the people you love around you, it will be perfect anyway.

vintage train west Virginia frontier wedding

Emily Porter behind the camera. This is one View all images from this wedding in the gallery

Wedding Music:
Processional: “Simple Gifts”
Recessional: “St. Anne’s Reel”
Final song: “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” John Denver

Wedding Vendors (West Virginia):

Wedding venue: The Greenbrier and Howard’s Creek Lodge / Photographer: Emily Porter Photography / Caterer and Cake: The Greenbrier / Florist: Gillespie’s / Dress: Claire Pettibone / Shoes: Marc Jacobs / Hair flower: BHLDN / Earrings: Tejani / Groom’s vest: Perry Ellis / Groom’s tie: Michael Kors / Invitations: Designed by bride and groom / Transportation: Amtrak from Charleston, VW to the Greenbrier / Band: The Majestic Brothers

Debra has listed her Claire Pettibone in our Recycle Your Wedding section. Click here to see her listing.

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Carnival-Themed DC Wedding

Vintage Weddings

Happiest of Wedding Wednesdays to you! This vintage carnival wedding is hot off the presses, brought to us by the lovely ladies of Amber Karson Events. Sarah and Joe chose an old amusement park right outside of Washington DC for their wedding, which included old carnival games and swing dance lessons for guests. Shall we begin?

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View all images from this wedding in the gallery

From Amber Karson Events: Sarah and Joe were married at Dahlgren Chapel on the Georgetown Campus followed by a reception in an old Bumper Car Pavilion at historic Glen Echo Park. Sarah and Joe love to swing dance and often visit the park on Friday nights to dance. It was a perfect choice for their wedding reception. For the bar, ared & white striped tent placed in the corner of the Bumper Car Pavilion served as our festive bar for the evening. A vintage cash register served as a holder for cocktail napkins & straws atop the bar. For the Carnival Alley, guests mingled around the Pavilion and had fun playing a few favorite carnival games including Win A Goldfish, Ring Toss, and Tic Tac Toe. We loved the vintage looking signage made by Gourmet Invitations for each carnival game.

Wedding vendors (Washington, DC):

Ceremony venue: Dahlgren Chapel, Georgetown University / Reception venue: Glen Echo Park / Wedding Planning & Event Design: Amber Karson Events / Wedding photographer: Sam Hughes Photography / Flowers: Elegance & Simplicity / Catering: Main Event Caterers / Dessert: Georgetown Cupcakes / Videographer: Hello Super 8 / Invitations & Paper Goods: Gourmet Invitations / Band: Dr. Zoot / Balloon Artist: Balloon Affairs of Frederick / Tent & Carnival Games: Talk of the Town / Photobooth: Majestic Photobooth / Bride’s dress: Hannelore’s / Bridemaid’s Dresses: Aria / Hair: Hair by Jewels / Make-Up: Kiki D’talien / Transportation: Chariots for Hire

Gourmet Invitations is part of Blue Label, our handy dandy local vendor guide.

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Autumnal Mackinac Island Wedding

DIY Weddings

Coming back from a long weekend in Michigan this past weekend, I couldn’t be happier to share Lindsay and Cole’s wedding shot by Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at this photo of their ceremony.

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

bow peep toe wedding shoes

I knew I wanted an autumn wedding – it’s always been my favorite season. Luckily, my husband felt the same way! I also knew I wanted a vintage feel, and once we chose our historic location and venue it all fell into place. We live in Los Angeles but are originally from Michigan, so we wanted to reflect both sides of our lives — the movie business and our Michigan roots. Somehow, we were able to incorporate all of these disparate elements and make it very “us”. Just as important, we wanted the feel of ceremony to be very personal. So, my brother officiated, and we included our bridal party and other friends/family to be part of it in various ways — my cousin sang, we had readings from our favorite books and films, and we passed our rings around for each person to give a “blessing”. It was really special.

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

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Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

Mackinac Island is one of my very favorite places in the world. Growing up, my family would take trips there, and I was always enchanted with the lovely historic island that doesn’t allow cars — you have to bike or horse buggy everywhere. It’s so timeless and romantic. I also love the movie ‘Somewhere in Time’, which is entirely set on the island. So when my husband, who also grew up in Michigan, proposed, it seemed like the perfect location for our wedding. When we toured Mission Point Resort, I fell in love with its elegant rustic charm. We chose to get married in a small hall on the resort grounds with a giant fireplace, to give us that intimate feeling we wanted for us and our guests. The reception was held in a beautiful room in the main hotel, with exposed wood beams and incredible views of the lake. All in all, it was exactly the right setting for us.

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

I wanted to create an autumn-vintage-rustic-romantic look. We also wanted to incorporate our love of movies and books into the decor. I wasn’t so concerned with everything matching, only that it genuinely reflected who we are — THAT was our “theme”. So we used the tandem bike image on our invitations, welcome bags and menus to tie in the island’s bike culture, but then we designed movie ticket escort cards that went with classic movie table numbers. Our cake toppers include our favorite books.

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at welcome guest bags oot

Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

vintage yellow bike ceremony sign

I wanted colors that complimented the season, but nothing too traditional. I was inspired by the location, and decided to do a palette including yellows and oranges to highlight the changing leaves; cream and grays like the birch trees of Michigan; and then a touch of blue inspired by the beautiful lake. The result was soft, vintage and autumnal.

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

destination wedding in Michigan

I really loved doing my DIY projects, which included: my hair piece; decoupaging vintage luggage for our “postcard table” guest book; the “sweet love” banner for the dessert table; the menus and the boutonnieres. My sister-in-law helped me design the programs, welcome bags, escort cards and other design elements. My father-in-law made the wood cake and cupcake stands. I loved that so much of the decor was personal and homemade. Everything else was Etsy and flea mart finds. I don’t know what I would do without Etsy!

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at vintage movie poster table numbers

Mackinac Island Michigan US destination wedding

Bryan & Mae in Mackinac Island. They incorporated lots of vintage touches throughout their day – from the vintage movie poster table numbers to their stationery. It’s true that we say that the weddings we share are always the sweetest, but Lindsay and Cole’s wedding is one for the books. Their emotions can be seen in the photos and felt through the screen, and we couldn’t help but get a bit teary looking at Click to view all images in the gallery

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Don’t be too concerned with the minutia of planning; it can get overwhelming and make you crazy! It doesn’t matter if everything is perfectly coordinated, as long as you feel it reflects your own unique style and personalities. This will ultimately make the experience more personal, and more beautiful. Also, take time during both the planning and the actual day to really BE with your groom and remember what it’s all about. We can get so distracted with all the fun and stressful details and forget that this is about two people starting an incredible journey together; the rest is frosting. And remember, when things go wrong (and they DO go wrong no matter how much you try to avoid it), take a breath and have a sense of humor about it. It was cold and rainy the day of our wedding and I was bummed — but then the sun came out and we had RAINBOWS! If that’s not a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is :)

Wedding Songs:

We wanted to incorporate our love for movies as much as possible, so all of our songs are movie-related. The guys walked to the “Throne Room March” from Star Wars: A New Hope; the bridesmaids walked to “Storybook Love” from Princess Bride; and I walked down the aisle to the theme from “Somewhere In Time.” Our first dance song was “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge, and my father and I danced to “Rainbow Connection” from the Muppet Movie.

Wedding Vendors and Venue (Mackinac Island, MI):

Ceremony and reception locations: Mission Point Resort / Photographer: Bryan & Mae / Wedding Dress: Lazaro (3962 in ivory), purchased at Mon Amie in Costa Mesa / Wedding Shoes: BHLDN / Hair and Makeup: 7th Heaven Salon at Mission Point Resort / Bridesmaid Dresses: various shades of gray from Jcrew, BHLDN and Priscilla of Boston / DJ: Patrick McManus of MICA Entertainment / Caterer: Mission Point Resort / Wedding Cake: two-tier birch tree cake with vanilla cake and chocolate buttercream frosting, and pumpkin cupcakes with vanilla cream cheese frosting, from Bella e Dolce Bakery; cookies were also served from Marc’s Double Oven / Wedding invitations: Stephanie at Sunshine & Ravioli / Transportation: Gough Carriages

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