Taking a break from our home design content to showcase a different kind of design - for my wedding! I was originally scheduled to get married in 2020, but like all brides, plans changed once the pandemic hit. After rescheduling 3 times, we finally were able to be with our family and friends this past June of 2022 and it was totally worth the wait!
Being a designer myself and my husband Pedro being a jazz musician, we saw our wedding as a chance for creative expression and enjoyed the every minute of the planning and design process (All 3 years of it!) My family is Italian-American and Pedro is from Peru, so we worked to find ways to highlight our heritage and celebrate our families uniting. A lot of the decor was DIY that my mom and I did together, so it was extra special to see it all come to life that day.
Keep reading for a glimpse into our design!
The Wedding Dress: The Start of Inspiration
I knew I wanted a non-traditional dress for my wedding. When looking online, I came across Rue de Seine and immediately fell in love. I saw they were retailed at Everthine Bridal Boutique in Madison CT. So I took a trip there one day, tried on the East Gown and as soon as it was on, I knew it was it. I wasn't sure if picking out a dress was supposed to be this easy, but for me it only took one dress! I loved the lace patterns and the tassel details that reminded me of Peruvian decor. This dress became the starting point of my vision for our wedding theme and design.
The Decor: Earthy and Natural Tones
We were always planning to have our wedding at my parent's house on Lake Zoar in June. Being the landscape is so lush and green, I wanted to contrast that with earthy and natural tones within all of the decor. For the florals I decided to use mainly dried florals that had a neutral color palette. Earth Blossoms created this beautiful bouquet for me.
The ceremony pots and dinner table vases were a big project that my mom and I had fun doing together! I wanted large pots at the ceremony and we found the exact shapes we were looking for on clearance at Home Goods. They were originally bright red, but we spray painted them white, applied Plaster of Paris, sanded them down and then added textured spray paint to complete the look. They turned out so well and now we each have one in our own homes to remind us of our day.
For the dinner tables, we planned to do family style cuisine so we needed to keep the decor minimal to accommodate for the large platters. I found these textured bud vases on Etsy and was so happy that they were actually from a Peruvian maker, IncaRepublicHome! Then I mixed them in with these white bud vases from Amazon. Our family friends came over one day to tackle this floral project, filling the bud vases with various dried florals from Hobby Lobby, and even stems from our own yard! (Tip: head to Hobby Lobby on the weeks when florals are 50% off!)
Instagram Moment: Once Upon an Hola
Coming from a branding background, I wanted to brand our wedding day. I decided on "Once Upon an Hola" being my first text to Pedro was an Hola GIF. Once this was established, I worked to find a way to integrate it into an instagram moment. My grandmother passed away in 2020 and I inherited her settee, which was actually also at my parent's wedding. I loved that connection and the sentiment of having something of hers at our wedding. Together with my mom and grandfather, we reupholstered and refinished the settee to match the colors of the wedding.
On Etsy, I worked with a wonderful vendor to design our neon Once Upon an Hola sign to hang over this. Then, ordered a floral stand and created a dried floral arrangement around the stand that matched the other florals from our vases. I loved seeing the guests use this throughout the night!
A Statement Escort Board: Tags & Tassels
An escort display was not something I originally had on my list (the things you learn about weddings!) But once I knew I needed one, I found inspiration online that utilized tassels like my dress. A big props to my uncle and his friend for their talents on this one!! They built an amazing board, painted it Sherwin Williams Rose White, and placed in gold upholstery pins to hang the tags from. I designed tags with everyone's name and table number and placed these with the tassels onto a gold binder clip. At the top of our board we glued wood letters to spell out "Together is Better" on one side and "Juntos es Mejor" on the other. In the end, it was definitely a statement piece!
Cocktail Hour: A Jazz Lounge Atmosphere
Pedro's vision was to recreate a jazz lounge by the lake. As a jazz musician, he engaged some of his talented friends to play for both the ceremony and cocktail hour. Our lovely wedding planners at Wildflower sourced snazzy lounge collections from Gather and Lounge to bring this to life. The colors all worked so well and it was beyond fun to see everyone gathered around listening to the music and enjoying the atmosphere. For food, we did an antipasto station and a ceviche station to celebrate our cultures. Not only were they delicious but their presentation was spectacular. Pedro even jumped in at the end of cocktail hour to play a few songs along with the band. It was an overall wonderful moment at our wedding and now we wish we could have a jazz cocktail hour in my parent's backyard every weekend!
The Menus: My Favorite Design Item
We were so excited about the food and the curated menu by Forks & Fingers, featuring family-style Italian and Peruvian cuisine. Since we were keeping the table decor minimal, I knew I wanted the menu designs to shine. I first designed a flat menu (in both English and Spanish) at a bit of a larger size to lay on top of the plate and napkin. To add a decorative element, I introduced a boho style fringe to the base of the menus. I also incorporated the place cards for guests directly on the menus by cutting a half moon shape and gluing it with raised glue tabs for a bit of dimension. Lastly, I ordered vinyl gold name stickers off Etsy which were super easy to apply and were the perfect finishing touch. These were so fun to make and I loved how they came out!
Additional Meaningful Touches
We loved putting thought and intention behind all of our design decisions. Here are few more items that were special for us to include:
First Look at the Willow Tree: My family planted a Willow Tree in our yard in memory of my grandmother who passed away in 2020. My dad and I decided to do our first look here. It was extra special to have the tree in our photos and feel like my grandmother was still with us.
Antique Car: My grandfather restores antique cars. At my sister's wedding we brought his blue Ford Mustang, so at mine he brought this 1952 Green Ford. We displayed it in the front yard and took photos together after the ceremony.
Family Globes: There is a tree planted in my parent's yard that greeted guests upon arrival. We hung glass globes with vellum photos of our family that was there with us in spirit and grandparents who could not make the trip to our wedding. We placed an LED tea light candle behind the photo so they illuminated the tree as the night went on.
Hanging Pom Poms: While in Peru earlier that year, we saw these hanging Pom Poms as decor in a restaurant. I loved the festive look and thought it would look beautiful hanging over our dance floor. Pedro's family sourced them from local Peruvian artisans with earthy colors that would match our look. Our family friend hung them in the tent over the dance floor and I couldn't have been happier with how they looked!
Planning: Wildflower Events and Design
Catering: Forks & Fingers
Photography: Move Mountains Co.
Lounge Rentals: Gather & Lounge
Florist: Earth Blossoms