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we like it wild: a choo wedding

by Grace Bonney

We are so excited to show you some photos from a recent April wedding- Jill and Matt’s! Jill will tell you about her planning process and we’ll share some of the fun projects we made for the big event. And we send big thanks to the fabulous Rikki Ward for photographing the event beautifully, getting Jill out from behind the camera, and sending us images so quickly! –The Studio Choo Team

[The following text is by Jill] I know this sounds corny but the week leading up to our wedding was one of the best weeks of my life.  My family and friends were in town from the East Coast (I only get to see them once or twice a year) and there was so much happy excitement and anticipation in the air. All the final details we had been discussing for months were falling into place; everyone hung out together, ate, drank, laughed about funny stories, fondly told sad stories, and helped with the cleaning, decorating, cutting, pasting, hanging, and arranging in preparation for the wedding. It was just plain great.

CLICK HERE for the rest of “A Choo Wedding” after the jump (including over 20 beautiful images and decor ideas!)

Matt and I wanted our wedding to be a big party with an easygoing feeling and filled with fun little details about us. We chose the greenhouse location because it was playful and quirky, already covered with natural decorations (so I didn’t have to stress too much about the flowers), and was close to our home and hotels for easy travel planning. There were so many pieces that our friends and family helped us put together to make the day just right; from the sweet wooden signs marking the way to the greenhouse (made by Matt’s Dad) to the lovely music our good friend Mikey played while we walked down the aisle. Matt created playlists of our favorite songs (including “Love Shack” for my Dad and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” for his Dad and Uncles) and we cranked the music from a big speaker next to the stage where dancing went on into the night.

The night before the wedding my “we like it wild” girls (Lia the bridesmaid and new cousin-in-law, Alethea the maid of honor and best friend) and I stayed in a hotel room together. We cracked a bottle of wine, wound down after the “rehearsal dinner” celebration, and started making our bouquets and the boutonnieres. My flowers were a mix of all my tiny favorites; lily of the valley, muscari, forget-me-nots, fritillaria, and ranunculus tied off with a vintage lily of the valley ribbon. The girls had big, wild, yellow and white bouquets with trout lily, ferns, ranunculus, giant dubium and fritillaria, tulips, and orchids. We also made boutonnieres, corsages, and hair pins out of assorted silk flowers and vintage fixings (in the weeks leading up to the wedding) and set them out along with fresh blossoms for the guests to put on as they entered the greenhouse. It was so fun to see what each person chose and how they wore it. I think my favorite was Matt’s friend Steve who wore a feather comb in his jacket pocket.

I was lucky enough to have an amazing friend-of-a-friend designer create my petal dress, and seeing the process from sketch/to muslin/to the real dress come alive was such a cool experience. My favorite detail was a profile charm with my mom’s name on it (that belonged to my grandmother) that I asked the designer to put on the back of the dress. My mom passed away when I was fifteen and my grandmother a few years later so it was really special to have a little visible memory of them both with me that day.

Since I got to have a dress made just for me, I wanted to give the guys in the wedding party a personalized piece of their outfit too. Alethea and I visited Britex to pick out a few fabrics, and I enlisted the help of two very talented ladies to do the rest. Jenny (who also makes beautiful baby blankets and aprons) expertly whipped up six beautiful ties and Alexa (filmmaker and Little Otsu button queen) skillfully embroidered my requested names.

We didn’t feel like the greenhouse was the right setting for a big sit-down meal and we are snackers anyway (I’d rather have a spread of olives, dips, and bites than a big meal), so we asked our amazing caterer to create a seasonal menu of passed appetizers and platters for us. He prepared beautiful bite-size versions of our favorite dinner foods inspired by spaghetti and meatballs, steak and asparagus, grilled cheese and tomato soup, and carnitas tacos.

We used a bakery that Matt’s family has been going to for years for all the desserts, and who make his favorite raspberry cream “frogs”.  They fit in quite well at the greenhouse with the resident frogs that sing very loudly in the afternoon. There was even a carrot cake that our dogs stood on (created in miniature form by the talented Sian Keegan). Bernie and Pee Wee love carrots. I also printed candy bags for guests to fill up at our treat table with gummies galore, oatmeal raisin cookies, runts, and caramel robin eggs.

I designed our save the dates to look like botanical specimen tags and give some clues on the type of location we had chosen. There was a small bottle with a secret message inside that gave our wedding website so out of town guests could plan early. Matt and I gocco’d, punched, ribbonned, tied, and glued for a few weeks! We were so happy with the way the whole package turned out.

For our favors we wanted to include a little gift that had a part from each of us. I love gardening and Matt loves pickle making so we included his simple pickle recipe and seeds for the main ingredients. I gocco-printed a bag with orchid silhouettes to form the word LOVE, we packaged dill and cucumber seeds, and made labels that Matt’s mom sewed onto little glassine envelopes. The bags sat in a giant nest for our guests to pick up on their way out.

Location: Shelldance Orchid Gardens

Photography: Rikki Ward

Catering: Jersey Tomatoes

Desserts: Copenhagen Bakery

Bride’s Custom Dress: Angela DeMartini

Bride’s Headpiece: Feathers & Frills

Hair: Camilla Betteridge

Groom’s Suit: J Crew

Custom Ties and Tie Embroidery: Jenny Rinzler and Alexa Fraser

Vintage Ribbon: The Ribbonerie

Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Anthropologie

Custom Dog Portrait Cake Topper: Sian Keegan

Custom Inter-species Couple Topper: Megan Bogonovich

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