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Retro Whimsical Wedding

Retro Whimsical Wedding

This wedding, captured beautifully by photographer Ashley O’Dell, is just the burst of color we need on on a gray, fall morning. The couple, both librarians, have an excellent sense of how to channel color and their creativity into a beautiful and playful wedding for family and friends.

From the bride. We wanted our guests to feel as if they were invited to a party, rather than a serious or formal event. We tried to give things a DIY and retro feel without going overboard or getting too campy; since we both work in library settings we thought it would be cute to have a bookish feel to our seating cards and wedding favors. We picked a venue that was already heavily decorated and visually dynamic so we could keep to simple flowers and table linens. All in all, we think it was a success!

black and white portrait of bride in doorway
groom holding dog in arms

We wanted a location that would be near public transportation and other tourist attractions, but also close to our home. It was also important to us to find a venue that would allow us to host both the ceremony and reception. We also wanted our guests to remember our wedding fondly as a unique experience. Harvard Square fit the bill and we happened to dine at Upstairs on the Square early in our planning stages – we wondered if they hosted weddings and were thrilled to find that they did!

outside of Upstairs on the Square
laughing at the altar
pink orange and purple dining room

Upstairs on the Square is heavily decorated in pink, gold, and green with dark wood accents. We made our favors and the guest book the same green color to complement the pink, mirrored dining room and we chose pinks for our flowers. We used the same green color for our invitation envelopes but didn’t try to incorporate the same pinks or get too matchy.

bride portrait in front of window
party food on a plate

The hairpiece was created by my sister-in-law, Alissa, who created a fabric flower ranunculus out of ivory fabric, complete with a chandelier glass piece center, and russian netting and lace accents. I was inspired by vintage birdcage veils, but didn’t want a formal veil, so this was just perfect for me.

bright pink flowers on a pink table setting
card catalog seating assignments
pink rose bouquet

The seating cards were a very last-minute idea I had. They are loosely based on library catalog cards. Again, I have to thank my sister-in-law for making these a reality – she printed each card on her home printer! I came up with the format, and made up the call number convention and subject entries for each “author” (aka guest).

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My mother-in-law and I gathered all the containers for my flowers from thrift stores (with a little help from Ebay).

pink and blue icing on top of cake
bride and groom portrait outside building

Any advice for brides planning their weddings now? Definitely look at blogs and real weddings to get ideas, but don’t feel like you have to incorporate every great idea into your wedding! It is easy to become overwhelmed with the details – so just pick a few things that are important to you. Also, DIY projects are fun and fulfilling but time consuming – so don’t be afraid to ask for help and give yourself plenty of time!

Wedding Vendors (Cambridge, MA):

Ceremony and Reception Location, Catering, Wedding Cake: Upstairs on the Square restaurant/ Florist: Bow Street Flowers (Somerville, MA)/ Photographer: Ashley O’Dell/ Wedding Dress: Dolly Couture’s “Beverlywood”/ Shoes: Steve Madden’s “Ulltra”/ Jewelry: pearl earrings from bride’s mother, vintage milk glass bag from groom’s mother/ Hairpiece: made by groom’s sister, Alissa/ Hair and Makeup: Lisette Murphy/ Groom’s suit: vintage from Bobby from Boston/ DJ: Angela Sawyer, Weirdo Records/ Invitations: Matt Smith

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