If there’s one thing I love, it’s a bride with an unexpected wedding gown. Take bride Kasia, for example — white gowns just weren’t making her happy, so she opted for an elegant black lace gown from Jill Stuart that fit her to a T. The entire day was completely personalized to the couple, and ended up being nontraditional and absolutely wonderful, as you’ll see in these images from Amber Vickery Photography.
From the bride, Kasia: From quoting first impression texts of how we got together in our ceremony to the band playing everything from James Brown to Beck, we wanted everyone at the wedding to really feel like they had a connection with us individually and as a couple. For those guests who may not have been familiar, we read sections of gchat transcripts in our ceremony that candidly retold the story of our first meeting in a supermarket to falling for and eventually winning each other over. Giving a subtle nod to the city we fell in love in was also important; we chose a caterer sourcing local ingredients and seasonal inspired dishes like duck cassoulet plus served our favorite Philly gelato.
The library and auditorium were so historically interesting on their own (books and busts galore!) that I wanted to let the space drive feel of the wedding instead of trying to fit them into an overall theme. There was no set color scheme but getting married in October in a space full of dark wood lent itself to a rich jewel tone color palate, and after finding the black lace dress with teal underlay, the dark similar greeny blues found their way into the invitation design. A good part of the wedding was DIY from the cake to all the floral arrangements, bouquets + boutonnieres, card box, chalkboard signs. The two large chalkboard signs are black spray paint on scrap drywall I found discarded and hand lettered with sharpened chalk. The card box is an old cigar box and a tiny banner I drew, attached with wire and two bamboo skewers. All place cards and menus were designed using Word and printed (and folded!) by us. For the flowers I woke up (extremely) early the week of the wedding and drove into Manhattan’s flower district, selecting on the fly from what happened to be in season.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. Do what you want. White looks terrible on you? Wear a different color. Love mason jars but worry they’ve jumped the shark? Who cares how unique or traditional it is – the important thing is to make it personal, make it yours. 2. Let people help, really. I definitely had a plan for every single part of the wedding but without family greening the centerpiece urns and patting sprinkles onto the cake the day before, it wouldn’t have all come together. Bonus: great memories of a fun bonding experience. 3. GoogleDocs. Always GoogleDocs.
Processional: “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds
Recessional: “Moves,” The New Pornographers
First Dance: “Playground Love,” Air
The band’s chops were seriously amazing – they learned three songs by very different artists for the reception (Beck, Air, and Har Mar Superstar) plus churning out an insane setlist keeping everyone on their feet all night. A dear friend of ours is a karaoke king and hopped on stage to serenade the crowd with his signature – PYT (Michael Jackson). The energy really brought the party to the next level.
Wedding Location: Philadelphia, PA / Photographer: Amber Vickery Photography / Flowers and Signage: Bride / Venue: German Society of Pennsylvania / Wedding Dress: Jill Stuart / Wedding Shoes: Calvin Klein “Kasia” / Groom’s Suit: John W Nordstrom / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Caterer: Birchtree Catering / Wedding Cake: Bride (my favorite chocolate cake recipe with peanut butter mousse filling) / Gelato: Capogiro Gelato Artisans / Band: Sid Miller Dance Band / Wedding Invitations: Pauline Vassiliadis