Hello and welcome this weeks edition of my Christmas Gift Guide. From now until Christmas...
Happy Monday everyone, I do hope you have had a good weekend? I am still recovering from mine as it was Dexter’s 2nd birthday, so we had a really busy time with his party and my mum coming to stay. We had a fantastic time though, I just wish we could do it all over again.
On with todays wedding and we have a fabulous Boho themed day to start the week off with. Kristen and Miles went for a relaxed day with lots of beautiful handmade details, including hand-dyed ombré napkins, DIY flower arrangements, a fab bar and a great table plan. I am also totally in love with Kristen’s Daughters of Simone gown, how stunning! Big thanks to Alexa and Wes from Oakwood Photo and Video for the images.
Kristen and Miles were married on 21st May 2016 at Union Project (Pittsburgh, PA)). ‘We chose the Union Project as it is located in the city, where most of our friends and family live, and it was a large enough venue to fit all of our guests. Plus, the proceeds go directly to the community center…..and that stained glass! We had a total of 100 guests and I would say the planning took a little over a year.’
How they met
We met through a mutual friend (she gave the most beautiful speech at our wedding!). We have been together just over 5 years.
How did you allocate your budget
It was super important to us to stay focused on not going overboard with the budget. While of course we spent a bit more than what we wanted to, I feel we did an excellent job of keeping our priorities in check. We have such an amazing network in Pittsburgh and had friends help us with flowers, music and bartending needs. We also saved a ton of money by providing the booze ourselves and making a lot of the decorations.
Where did you splurge and where did you save
We splurged on photography and video – and also my dress! We had friends DJ, bartend and provide flower arrangements so we saved a TON on those things. The caterer we picked was extremely reasonably priced and we opted for nice, sturdy plasticware instead of expensive rentals. For us, our wedding day was more about having a great time with family and friends and less about what the dishes looked like.
How did you choose your photographer
I love Oakwood’s natural, organic style of photography. They have a great eye for details and I just love their affinity for the boho style I knew I wanted for our wedding! As a photographer myself, it was important to hire a professional team that we could trust to do a great job on our special day, so that we could relax and just enjoy ourselves.
Dress: Daughters of Simone
Shoes: Shoes of Prey (I custom designed them at Nordstrom’s)
The Suit and Bridesmaids
The Suit was Calvin Klein
We did not have bridesmaids, but our flower girls wore dresses that I found on Etsy.
Theme or Colour Scheme
We really didn’t have a solid color scheme for the wedding. We had our invites custom designed by a friend of a friend, and I suggested shades of purple, soft pink and blue for colors. We loved how the invitations turned out so much that I ended up referencing those colors for everything else, including the flowers, cake, favors, etc.
We worked with one of my best friends, who is a florist in San Diego, CA, to pick an array of hydrangeas and wildflowers to keep with the boho theme.
A lot of our decor was DIY, including hand-dyed ombré napkins that my friends and I made. I also incorporated some of my photography into the table assignment board and numbers. A friend designed several chalkboards for us for use at the bar, our Instagram hashtag and our welcome sign. My mom and dad cut flowers from the neighbour’s tree to tie to our ceremony chairs. With the 30-foot stained glass and cathedral ceilings, the great hall at the Union Project is so beautiful, we honestly didn’t need to do much to make the space beautiful.
We had a buffet with some traditional wedding staples including roast beef, fried chicken and green beans. Staying true to our Polish roots, my mom and grandmother made Galumpkis (stuffed cabbage rolls) from scratch – they were a huge hit with our guests!
Our wedding cake was made by Mediterra Cakehouse. I suggested a watercolor design and they did a fantastic job with it. The flavours were carrot cake with vanilla filling and chocolate with raspberry filling. It was the best cake I have ever tasted!
A friend of ours and local DJ Jay Malls provided the music. We just love his style and that he still uses vinyl. We were very careful to hire someone who shared our musical tastes, which are definitely a bit less mainstream than what most wedding DJs provide. We provided Jay with a playlist with some of our favorite tunes before the wedding, and he knocked it out of the park. I wish we could have recorded his set!
My H2Ocolor designed the invitation suite.
Personal or Handmade Touches
There were so many personal touches incorporated into our wedding. From the DIY hand-dyed napkins, to the custom cufflinks I made for my husband that were little records with his favorite reggae label, we infused every part of the wedding with our personal style.
Walking down the aisle and seeing my best friend smiling and waiting for me, and having all of our loved ones there, smiling at us from their seats, is a feeling I will never forget. I also loved getting ready with my friends at the AirBnB we rented before the wedding. We had such a great time just hanging out and being girly!
Advice to other couples
The best advice I can provide is to stay true to you and your significant other’s vision of what you want your wedding to be like. Family members and friends will all have opinions and thoughts on how you should do things, but just remember what makes you both unique, and why you are planning this massive event to celebrate YOUR special and love. Also, when the day comes, just try to relax and enjoy the ride — things will happen and the stress can be daunting, but when it is actually your wedding day, just relax and enjoy the love that truly radiates around you — it is such a powerful thing to experience!
Our family delivered a traditional Polish toast and blessing to us when we made our entrance at the reception. It was so special and beautiful…and we had no idea that it was going to happen!
We are a husband/wife team (Alexa + Wes Marquis) based out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and offer both wedding photography & videography. We’ve been shooting weddings for about 4 years and adore getting to document love stories! We like to describe our style as woodsy/organic/romantic.