This may well be one of the coolest and most stylishly decorated venues that I have ever laid my wedding blogger eyes upon! Yes, Gaby and Mike found a venue that reflected the look and feel that they were after – a warehouse venue with original brick walls, cavernous ceilings, crystal chandeliers, whimsical art work (including loads of original Andy Warhol’s), decadent furniture and dramatic lighting. This wedding is full of fun and creativity, but one of the stand-out ideas for me was the ‘Vodka Social’. Since the groom is Russian, different flavoured vodkas flowed throughout this wedding and we are talking some really *awesome* flavours such as ginger, spiced pear, raspberry, caramel, tiramisu and horseradish! More on that later on. First of all let me hand you over to our lovely bride on how and why she chose the venue. VENUE Gaby, The Bride: Mike and I had several important non-negotiable items as we started our wedding planning, and one of them was the venue. The venue sets the tone and influences the look-and-feel of the wedding, and is the backdrop for the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. It’s where we’ll take a majority of our photos, and where our friends and family will celebrate the most special and important symbol of our love and commitment to one another. We knew we wanted something unique, spacious, modern and truly unforgettable for our wedding. We wanted it to be a reflection of us and our taste, and most importantly, we wanted to infuse our vision in the space…rather than the vision of the space taking over the wedding. We’ve been to so many weddings in hotel ballrooms, where the look is always the same: cream colored walls, gold neo-baroque sconces and floral or damask-patterned carpets. While there’s nothing wrong with that, we wanted something unlike anything we’ve seen before. We wanted something modern and sexy, but also understated and simple. We also knew we had our work cut out for us as many venues in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul areas have exclusive relationships with vendors, making it very difficult to work with the vendors we had already picked out and meet our Kosher food requirement. We looked at no less than two dozen venues and called at least another dozen more…and each time, we came back to ARIA at the Jeune Lune. It was a favourite of ours from the start. In fact, I had my heart set on the Jeune Lune even before we were engaged! While celebrating the 2011-2012 New Year, Mike and I and a few friends went to a New Year’s party hosted at the Jeune Lune. It was the venue’s inaugural debut from being a theatre to becoming a premier venue hall in the Theatre District of downtown Minneapolis. I remember walking in to the Jeune Lune and being completely mesmerized by the space! I leaned in to Mike and whispered in his ear: “This would be the perfect spot for a wedding.”
Philippa and Andrew’s big day is the epitome of romantic elegance. The exquisite colour scheme of purples, greys, golds and pastels pervades everything in their wedding; it’s present in Philippa’s luscious bouquet (that frankly looks good enough to eat) and their beautiful dessert table too… right down to the invitations, menus and lighting.
And how gorgeous is our bride, Philippa? Doesn’t her Audrey Hepburn / 50s inspired Stephanie Allin dress look immense? And I am swooning over her awesome Lulu Guinness ‘lips’ bag (her lovely husband actually surprised her with it on the day… so cute)
Anyway I won’t delay you any further; go on check out Philippa and Andrew’s splendid day for yourselves: ogle over the gorgeous imagery by Mark Seymour and, at the end of the post, the wonderfully atmospheric film by The Dreamcatchers.
A BALLROOM VENUE WITH BEAUTIFUL PARK VIEWS
A countryside wedding was our original plan, however this was proving difficult because at the time we had 200 guests to invite. We didn’t want to go to a beautiful countryside manor and have to use a marquee — what’s the point of going to a stunning location to be put in a marquee and have to spend thousands dressing it? So we decided that interior was key and the Mandarin Oriental was the perfect answer. We had the best of both worlds, a beautiful ballroom with Hyde Park literally on your door step.
THEME + STYLE
We went for a ‘romantic and elegant’ theme. Being a makeup artist I love to mood board so this was always going to be a fun task . The colour scheme and the style of the wedding was so important. Purple was the chosen dominant colour used throughout the wedding on the invitations, menus, flowers, ties etc) with greys, golds and different coloured pastels to compliment. The ballroom was dripping in gold and had lots of huge mirrors inside and so the romantic mood was enhanced with soft purple and pink lighting. Candelabras were placed on every other table with a small floral display on top & pastel coloured scattered petals on the mirrored base. The alternate tables had a low flower display with tea lights and scattered petals so not to block anyone’s view. Purple was used throughout the flowers in different shades to enhance and compliment the mood.
This morning I have the ideal antidote to the stormy weather and the general sub zero antics that appear to be going on outside. Steve from Newlywed Films recently contacted me to share one of his favourite wedding films from 2013 and it’s perfect for brightening up a particularly inclement day such as today.
There are so many details that I love about this wedding, from the groom’s theatrical top hat and the bride’s Vivienne Westwood-esque dress (especially that bustle) to the fact that their reception took place in the London Transport Museum – how fun and fabulous is that?! Their guests chatted and ate on the different buses throughout the museum and as Joanna, the bride, says, “The London Transport Museum had never held a wedding reception before which meant it was a really fun and creative process for us and felt very unique and special.”
Anyway, enough from me, check out the wedding film for a sun-in-your-heart Thursday feeling.
Joanna, the bride: We don’t have an exciting/romantic backstory in terms of using the London Transport Museum as our wedding venue – we just came across it when we were venue searching and then nothing else seemed to compare!
We didn’t want a sit down meal but we also wanted our guests to be occupied the whole time so a museum space with fun exhibits seemed perfect, especially as we knew that there would be kids at the reception. It turns out that it was the adults who probably enjoyed it the most though! Also, the transport museum had never held a wedding reception before which meant it was a really fun and creative process for us and felt very unique and special.
Today’s bride, Robin, has the most exquisite bridal style. As her wonderful wedding photographer, Piper Watson, puts it, “a mix of old school classy gal and modern minx”. Her stunning black and white ensemble is achingly chic and in fact, the couple’s whole event manages to be simultaneously stylish and elegant, yet warm and homely.
In their own words, Robin and Joe say they had a very non-traditional wedding by design. They truly wanted the feel of a of an informal dinner party, where two people happen to be getting married. They didn’t have many of the traditional wedding staples – only 45 guests, no flowers, bridesmaids, or first dance – and this gave the evening a truly intimate, unique and personal feel.
Their wedding report is a joint effort written by both the bride and groom, and the beautiful set of images produced by the lovely Piper Watson, will ensure that all those fantastic memories stay fresh and vibrant for many years to come.
AN INTIMATE VENUE + BLACK & WHITE COLOUR SCHEME
Robin the bride and Joe the groom: Ultimately, we wanted our wedding to feel like a dinner party (with a ceremony beforehand) for our closest family and friends. It was very modern and a bit whimsical; it was really a perfect reflection of our sensibilities and who we are as a couple.
The ceremony was held at Joe’s cousins’ (Martha and Bob) house in Washington, DC. She and her family have an amazing house that had been fully redesigned. Martha is an interior decorator and it shows! The reception was at Elizabeth’s on L, a converted town house in downtown DC which added to the intimate feel we were going for.
Our colour scheme was black and white (to match Robin’s dress) and green as an accent colour.
HAIR + MAKE-UP
Robin and Joe’s long time stylist, Gregg, did the hair for Joe, Robin, Joe’s sister Rachel, and Robin’s mother Ann. Robin had a really unique hair style at the time and only her stylist was good enough to style her hair. Robin’s makeup was done by a woman named Keisha from beautiful.flawless.face makeup. She was fantastic! Robin wanted to look like a more glamorous version of herself, but still look relatively natural. She made Robin look like herself, only better and also did the makeup for Ann and Rachel, who looked fantastic as well.
Despite having a very traditional Jewish Orthodox Wedding, they still wanted to play around on the margins, and incorporate as many of their own details into their W-day as they could.
One of the creative elements I love most is their invitations which Juliana designed herself. She incorporated the most delicious intertwined Hebrew calligraphy and combined it with an english font inspired by Elie’s favourite brand of scotch! Their invitation suite also included a map highlighting milestones in their relationship and had lots of lovely production finishes like a letterpress finish and a wax seal on each envelope.
I also love their idea of ‘donation’ favours where in place of traditional favours they made a contribution to a charity close to their hearts, and placed small notes at each plate with a picture of themselves, explaining the donation.
Juliana and Elie were set up on a blind date by Juliana’s roommate, Rena, who had gone to high school with Elie. Rena thought that Elie might be a good person for Juliana to meet, and she was evidently right! Let’s hear all about the couple’s special day from the lovely bride herself…
A GLAMOROUS VENUE
Juliana the Bride: Our wedding was at the The Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. Since our wedding was in February, we wanted the location to still be accessible in the event of inclement weather. We loved the Roosevelt as soon as we walked through it; it was the first of the many venues we’d looked at that we could actually envision ourselves getting married in. They had many distinct rooms available, and a fantastic balcony / hallway between the tish room and where the badeken was. Elie being danced down that hallway was one of my favourite moments of the wedding. As one of my friends remarked on her video of the badeken: “That was epic”.