Tuesday, November 11, 2008

my wedding celebration

I finally finished editing my own wedding photos! Sarah Miller, my photographer did a wonderful job. It was just very difficult for me to make final decisions about which photos to keep, which to delete, and which to apply the vintage techniques to in photo shop. Below are just a handful of my favorites. The wedding was a long time coming and I feel like these photos will represent a piece of our family's history forever.
Here's a quick recap: The ceremony was in Rittenhouse town, part of the Wissahickon woods where we live nearby. We could not have 120 people in a public park due to parking and seating difficulties so just the immediate family was invited and a handful of our oldest friends. I was so glad we invited them. To see every one's smiles after the ceremony was the best part of the day! Then we had the reception at the Sedgwick theatre on Germantown ave. in Mt. Airy. It is an art deco movie theatre built in 1928. I love the fashion and styles of that period so it was really important to me to have "vintage" hair and a cocktail dress. My stepfather, Paul, drove me up to the ceremony in a 1932 Ford pickup he built himself from pieces. I was so proud to ride in it and loved that it matched the time period. He started building it while my mother was still alive and she never got to take a ride, so getting into it for the first time on my wedding day was an emotional roller coaster, so happy, but also sad. We were both bawling when I arrived to the sounds of the bagpiper playing "Here comes the bride." Did I mention everyone was crying at the ceremony!?
My best friend Sarah read a passage from the Velveteen Rabbit about what is "real". Jason, Shawn's brother, read the last paragraph from "The Road" by Cormick McCarthy. After the ceremony Jason said a beautiful toast about how I have always been a part of the family, but it was good now to make it "official" and again I cried!
The reception was a blast! I did not want a formal wedding reception, just a big party. It was a representation of us and our loved ones. We had a pool table and games for the kids. I also had a dress up photo booth for guests to take their own photos. On the center stage, there was a slide show running of my photographs from the past 14 years of our friends and family. The kids had fun jumping around on the stage and dancing in front of the photos! There was theatrical lighting to add to the ambiance. We had an Irish trio play at the cocktail hour who actually knew my mother, she played traditional fiddle in her life time. I also had the redware pottery she made put out on the tables. After cocktails the dj took over with a great assortment of country, indie rock, 80's music videos played on the screen, hip hop and lots of dance music from our generation. It was overwhelming seeing every person I know and love in one room, all there just for us! I am so lucky to have met Shawn 14 years ago and gained so many friends and family.

At the end of this post is a list of recommended vendors I used for my own wedding, please feel free to contact any of them if you are planning your wedding. There are few photos taken by other photographer friends of mine and their names are also credited. Otherwise the rest were by Sarah Miller.

The pin belonged to my great grandmother and has a photo inside of my mother and grandmother.

I rode to the ceremony in this 1932 ford pick up with my step father Paul.

Very nervous, about to get married!

Shawn borrowed this white 1970 Cadillac from our neighbor to drive his friends to the ceremony. They were stylin!

photo above taken by our friend Michael Jastremski

Shawn notices that the bagpipes are for me! I love this shot! It took him a while because there were bagpipes earlier in the park for the battle of Germantown reenactment. So the whole family did not notice until they heard "Here comes the bride" that is was me in the truck.

I remember being so nervous and happy to see every one's smiling faces! I was scanning the crowd to see Shawn's face.

Sarah's reading

Jason's reading

I was so happy to see all the guys! I've know them all since they were 16 years old!

I love this series of Sarah and Paul sharing a hanky!

a touching speech by my new brother in law. photo by Michael Jastremski

The whole Riley clan

Shawn's mom has been a mother to me for a long time now. Great shot.

My favorite.

Finally got him to smile in this one, Shawn did not like his photo taken.

I love this photo! The space was amazing.

I wrapped the candles in a paper I printed myself with a tree design I thought was suitable for us. The plates were made by my mother.

I made the cake topper of our dogs, they had to be involved somehow!

Seting up the photo booth, could not help myself but to take photos. Rebecca Barger was a guest and got these two shots.

We had a guest sign in bench instead of a sign in book.

photo by Rebecca Barger

I love these shots of the girls dancing around the tree pattern by Rebecca Barger

Even the staff was dancing!

photo by Rebecca Barger

The rest are just a few from the crazy dress up photo booth. There was a remote so people could take their own photos and see them on the t.v. screen.

Click here to see lots more on my website!

Catering- Shackamaxon Catering- I have sampled their food before at many weddings and the event coordinator Ken Correll is really great! He helped me stay within budget too. The staff was all super nice and helpful at the wedding. I actually found out the Sedgwick theatre did weddings from looking at Shackamaxon's site, check it out if you have not found a venue yet, there are tons of locations and ideas for different kinds of weddings.

Photography- Sarah Miller Photography- I can't say enough about Sarah. She has been assisting for me on my weddings for over two years now. She is the best second shooter I have worked with by far, always learning and experimenting. She is also sweet and outgoing! Her business is starting to flourish and I wish her the best of luck!

Lighting design- Synergetic Sounds- Jason at Synergetic is a dj but he also rents and sets up lighting for wedddings and special events. We did not have floral centerpieces because I wanted to spend my $ on this kind of theatrical lighting since it was an old movie theatre. He kept me on budget and came out himself to set it all up and make sure I loved it! We had a dance floor design of tree branches since we got married in the woods. Jason has lots of patterns to choose from for the dance floor. I always tell my clients this kind of lighting really adds to the mood and the photographs at the reception.

DJ- Matt the Record Player I have met a lot of dj's in this business and I really did not want your typical wedding kind. So we found Matt through a mutual dj friend. He is not your typical wedding dj but was willing to take our play list and add onto it his own creativity. The music really makes the party! He was good at returning emails and even put up with our crazy family! He stayed late and kept the party going!

Bagpiper- www.BagpipesFAO.com I found him online. He ended up sending an associate bagpiper Kyle Johnson who was great. This part of the day was really important to me, I surprised Shawn, he had no idea I would be entering the ceremony with a bagpiper. They always add a dramatic element to important moments.

The Segdwick theatre- Betty Ann- bettyann2@verizon.net 215-248-9560 They do not have a website. The theatre is great if you are looking for something different. It is also one of the best priced spaces in all of Philadelphia. The old tile and archways give the space a dramatic vintage appeal. It was built in 1928 and has not been restored AT ALL. We are the sort of people who love old antiques and falling down spaces so I would not recommend it to anyone worried about cleanliness, you must keep the lights on low! But it was perfect for us!

The Irish Trio- Mairean Gittelman 610-896-9537 They played the fiddle, guitar, mandolin, penny whistle and Irish drum. I found them through a circle of musicians who knew my mother over 20 years ago.

Hair -by American Mortals The stylist there was Nicole. This was really hard to find the right person. I had 3 different hair trials. No, I am not crazy I just really wanted a vintage 1930's hairstyle and it's hard to get someone that does that, not just give you "bridal" hair. Nicole knew just what I was looking for and styled it the way I suggested but added her own flare by sweeping part of the hair to the side. I loved it!

makeup- MAC
I went to the mac store on Walnut st. I usually don't suggest this to brides if you are crunched for time but all the makeup artists I knew where already booked up. Book one in advance! I was happy with my makeup, but thought the foundation was a little too much. I usually don't wear much. You need it though for photos.

Veil- birdcage veils and other unique vintage looks.

Accessories- Touche in suburban square (610)-649-6740 I love this store, I went in the week before my wedding and found the perfect shawl, feathered pin for my veil, antique comb, and a flower girl basket. I had to leave before I bought more stuff!

Dress- Lord and Taylor. O.k. I also tried on a few others at Nicole Miller and Sabrina Annes's but I kept thinking about the first dress I tried on at Lord and Taylor and it was a great deal.
Shoes- Zappos. Yes they were dark purple, not white. I can wear them again!

flowers- I did them myself, I would not suggest this! My kitchen looked like a greenhouse exploded the night before my wedding!

wedding planning blogs- www.stylemepretty.com I am actually listed on this blog under the little black book for best photographers in Philly. This blog is really beautiful and has lots of ideas for details.
Also love:

Got our rings here:http://www.wood-rings.com/silver.html
Made my own invites with the help of my girlfriends, but used the paper and ribbon from here:www.formal-invitations.com


The Teenage Diplomat said...

YAY! They are amazing!! Sorry I don't look happier in that one of us, I was having a great time!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Heather, where do I begin?? All the personal touches are so sweet and sentimental . . . the Ford pickup (how emotional -- I didn't realize your mother was no longer with you -- she was with you on your wedding day!!) . . . the doggies on your cake topper . . . the redware pottery . . . the Irish trio . . . the photo slideshow. Wow, you really made this your own! All the details are so well thought out and so meaningful. What a beautiful day you had. You looked absolutely gorgeous and glowing, and the photography is amazing. Congratulations again, and thank you so much for sharing your day. By the way, I LOVE the Velveteen Rabbit reading -- what an awesome idea!

Anonymous said...

Found you through Pictage. All of the pictures are amazing. You look great!

Unknown said...

Im not quite sure how I came across you but I am glad that I did. Your wedding pics are very unique and beautiful! I am planning a wedding and love to see real ideas and love that you included the websites/telephone numbers at the bottom. Thanks and of course congrats!

Anonymous said...

Fabulous photography..! Those purple sandals are looking elegant.

zoliepup said...

Your wedding was beautiful. I hope you don't mind, but I linked to this post in my blog, so that I can find you again and come back to be inspired!

Anonymous said...

Looks like one amazing day! Such amazing photos! I sincerely hope your wedding rings were wonderful as unfortunately I also bought wood and silver rings fom the same company and mine fell apart not long after purchase.