Emma Goldman once said, “I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” I must say I agree. For this week’s installment of Friday Favourites, here are some outrageously gorgeous bouquets I’ve been pining for lately:
His name was Albuquerque and he was a turkey. He was feathered, he was fine; and he wobbled, and he gobbled; he was absolutely mine. At least that’s what I told my mother when I came skipping back from kid’s club clutching a hand-traced turkey drawing. It was Thanksgiving in the early 90′s and everyone in the class got to make one. Being a child genius, I managed to put two and two together and figure out that the same bird we had been singing about all afternoon was now being carved on the dinner table. I was 5 or 6 and completely devastated. I told my parents I wanted to become a vegetarian, but being too young to make an informed decision, we settled on my only eating meat that came from Amish or Mennonite farms, where they treated their animals “kindly”. It got to a point where I was asking random waiters at restaurants if their meat was “Amish”.
Sure enough, when I grew up, I became a vegetarian, but this past weekend was my first ever meat-free Thanksgiving (yes Americans, in Canada, we celebrate one month ahead of you due to our earlier winter!) Inspired by the beautiful bounty of the season, I decided to round up the most magnificent meat-free celebrations I could find. Here is a bushel of vegetable inspired wedding ideas! Yum!
The epic SmogShoppe shindig I posted last week got me thinking about the numerous other weddings I’ve developed mild to severe crushes on over the years. Most I still have stashed away in bajillions of folders which currently inhabit my computer. I thought it might be fun to open up the vault and share with you some of the goodies: weddings which are, in my opinion, truly one in a million. I figured it’d be most appropriate to start with my Favourite Wedding of All Time (except, of course, my parents’); out of all the thousands of weddings I’ve seen, pinned, tweeted, tumbled and e-mailed to my mother at 3 A.M., I don’t think any have inspired me so much as this one. To me, it’s more than just a wedding. It’s a philosophy. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I first gazed upon this masterpiece, I began to understand that weddings weren’t just forbidden fluff for engaged women to enjoy (and stealthy single girls, behind bolted doors, in the dead of night) but living, breathing works of art.
Rachel’s Favourite Wedding #1
Snapped by: Belathée Photography
Hosted by: 632 on Hudson
Planned by: Daughter of Design
Designed by: Hatch Creative Studio
Baked by: Ron Ben-Israel
Calligraphed by: Bernard Maiser
Serenade by: West Village Chorale
I know. You want more, just like I did when I first set eyes on this visual feast. Luckily, wedding planner Annie Lee of Daughter of Design dished all the deets for us to devour like a big slice of wedding cake.
Sarah Joy Kubanack and David Miller are both performers, just like you’d expect from the bride and groom behind such a delectably dramatic celebration. Miller is a member of Il Divo, the operatic pop group created by Simon Cowell, and Kubanack is a stage actress and singer in her own right. The two met, quite appropriately, while performing in Baz Luhrmann’s L.A. production of La Bohème, a modernized opera about a writer and artist in Paris who fall in love and do marvelous things like go to cafés until one of them tragically dies. The opera would later inspire Miller and Kubanack’s entire wedding celebration (“sans the tuberculosis,” says Lee).
Miller and Kubanack’s guests received remarkable invitations calligraphed by Bernard Maisner in white ink on thick black card stock. “If you are thinking of doing black invitation sets, that’s all fine and dandy, but it’s always best to do your response cards in a lighter color so that people can write with blue and black pens without any issues,” advises Lee. “Most people don’t have white marker lying around.” In lieu of a standard RSVP, Miller and Kubanack injected some French formality by spelling out “Responde S’il Vous Plait” (where the term “RSVP” actually originates). The pair also expressed their positive spirituality by requesting guests indicate if they would be attending the celebration “in body” or “in spirit”.
Daughter of Design worked with Hatch Creative Studio to fashion the ceremony location after a French café. Bistro chairs and tables were towed into the event space at 632 on Hudson (one of my favourite venues on the entire North American continent) along with an assortment of park benches and garden furniture. Envisioning an old, abandoned building overgrown with plants and vines, the floral designers at Hatch arranged “flowers pouring in from the open windows and vines and flowers growing on the walls,” describes Lee. As a festive touch, old French opera posters were displayed throughout the venue, which was also decorated by Maisner with lavish calligraffiti. “From their first song lyrics on the mirror to opera libretto on chalkboard, there were a lot of great details we added,” says Lee. Maisner also calligraphed a chalkboard sign positioned outside 632 on Hudson, baptizing the space “Café Mommus” for the evening (the name of the café in La Bohème).
Kubanack wore a silk sheath by Michelle Rahn from Gabriella New York and Miller a suit custom tailored by Giorgio Armani himself. In lieu of a traditional bridal march, Kubanack walked down the aisle to a piece Miller composed for her (adorably titled “For Sarah”) which was played by a string trio and harpist. The maid of honour and best man both performed ceremony readings which had been taped inside vintage tomes to appear as if being read directly from the books themselves. Guests were surprised by West Village Chorale who had quietly slipped into the room before singing “Set Me as a Seal” and a jubilant Ossana recessional. The music switched gears for the reception, where Miller and Kubanack enjoyed their first dance to “Such Great Heights” by Iron and Wine; an energetic Postal Service cover of the same song was later played as the final dance of the night.
Instead of a traditional sit-down dinner, Miller and Kubanack “opted for a cocktail party style reception with both passed courses and stations. Each room was themed to correspond with an opera, for example the ‘Madama Butterfly’ Asian room, ‘La Boheme’ French room and ‘La Traviata’ Italian room,” says Lee. As a surprise, Kubanack arranged for Miller’s favourite Japanese restaurant, Nobu, to set up camp in the Asian room. Guests also enjoyed a decadent dessert bar and wedding cake created by Ron Ben-Israel (who was shown a picture of a tree the couple had snapped on a camera-phone in upstate New York and wanted to incorporate in the design). Framed by two L brackets, the cake became a focal point for the entire reception. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a cake more photographed at a wedding,” says Lee.
This week is all about rings, and I don’t mean those pavé diamond eternity bands you’ve been eying in the window at Cartier. With the Olympics officially up and running, we’re glued to our TVs, captivated by the world’s most remarkable athletes and their ability to perform under frightening pressure. After all, it’s a well known fact that being an Olympian is almost as stressful as being a bride, especially one on a mission to throw the most epic wedding of all time. Sure, you may not be spending eight hours in the gym (at least not until you decide to squeeze into a Vera Wang mermaid gown), but you know a thing or two about being overwhelmed. The dress fittings, the menu selections, the guest lists…have you even selected a colour scheme yet? Forget competing countries, what about the competing corals and peaches which are both determined to wiggle their way into your bouquet? Relax. This may not be the Olympic Training Center, but it is Wedding Style File, which means I’m here to help. I understand that determining the shade of your Big Day can be like a mental 400-meter medley.
Fortunately, I’ve already got a few suggestions for you. While Wedding Style File may not exclusively address colour palettes, there are a number of blogs that do, namely Perfect Palette and the venerable Snippet & Ink (they also have some gorgeous real weddings and photo shoots for you to Pin to your heart’s content). But before you scamper off in your pretty little heels, I wanted to share my latest “colour crush” (or lack thereof): all white, with loads of texture. Many brides, when considering their palette, are happy to think in terms of David’s Bridal swatches, which I’ve literally seen dictating everything from table cloths to cake stands. Unfortunately, the result is usually one dimensional: tired, bland and completely uninteresting.
Imagine rushing in to your wedding planner instead with a fistful of pearls, faux fur shawl and a bottle of your favorite glittery nail polish and proclaiming, “These are my wedding colours.” She would either frown in confusion or (hopefully, if she’s as fantastic as you are) nod her head and say “brilliant”. The result would be a naturally shaded celebration with flecks of gold — organic but luxe — and completely one of a kind. With all white, you’re afforded even more range in the texture department. What might be overwhelming in other hues will be nothing short of breathtaking in ivory, cream, white and other neutrals. So pile on the lace, silks and feathers and show ‘em how it’s done!
What do you think of the all-white/neutral textured look? Comment below or tweet @RachelCravit!
Images: Samuel Lippke, Jose Villa, Alison Mayfield, shewanders Photography, Juliet Elizabeth Photography, Elizabeth Messina, Apryl Ann Photography, Tanja Lippert, Brian Dorsey, Lucida Photography, Barber Photography, Aaron Delesie, Lane Dittoe