Monday, 15 August 2011

LoveBird Themed Wedding in North Carolina {L+R}

This warm Easter wedding in Charlotte, NC could not have been more full of heartfelt symbolism, DIY projects and budget-saving nepotism :) Lauren and Robert married on 23 April 2011, which just so happens to be Shakespeare's birthday — not at all a cheeky coincidence considering that Lauren is an English teacher and self-proclaimed 'nerd.' With the groomsmen in mind, Lauren kept her girly love for pink in check and went for a Tiffany Blue and Mint Green colour palette. Their free-spirited personalities and fun-loving relationship inspired their "Just a Couple of LoveBirds" theme which has been tastefully woven throughout — Lauren even wore a bird-cage style veil! Thanks to Brandy Wine Photography we get to enjoy the details of this gorgeous day!

{From the bride:}
I could NEVER have imagined a more perfect day!!! The weather was PERFECT...sunny, a calming breeze, and 75 degrees...completely picturesque by the lake. The walk down the aisle seemed like a dream. I made sure to think about every word I spoke during my vows, and my husband was more handsome than I’d ever seen him and the birds were singing and chirping beautifully (bird theme yay!). After the ceremony, my new husband and I got to have a minute alone.  Somehow the bridemaids and groomsmen got ahold of our signature drink, Carolina Wren, which is basically sweet tea with LOTS of Firefly vodka. Our bridal party was hilarious during pictures.  And before we knew it, it was party time!  The food was delicious. My bouquet toss prank worked perfectly! And EVERYONE was on the dance floor...including my 94 year old great grandmother in her wheel chair! I didn't originally plan on changing out of my dress, but my mother convinced me that my wedding dress would be heavy and I'd be tired of it by the end of the night. At the end of the reception, after being pelted with birdseed, Robert and I boarded the fully restored antique trolley that we'd hired to take us all to downtown Charlotte for the after party which was held at the Ri Ra Irish Pub. The entire ride was so much fun and everyone kept talking about how awesome the trolley trip was.    

I designed the invitation suite using Mac Pages software with a few downloaded extras from and I ordered the paper from during their annual sale.  They would have been $7 more per invite if I had them made by a pro. I bought the silk flowers at an after season floral sale at Garden Ridge and the blue hydrangea came from Michaels. For the wrap, I hot glued a strand of costume jewelry pearls to the handle and finished the top with a costume cameo brooch. I also made handpainted wineglasses. This was the most fun DIY project! Instead of buying/renting table runners, I found drapery fabric at the local fabric store for $4.00 per yard! 

I sewed silk ribbons to the ankles of my shoes to make them resemble my ballet shoes (I was a dancer for 15 years). I wore my great-grandmother's engagement ring (circa late 1920s), my mother's pearl necklace, and my maternal grandmother's pearl earrings.  I had a little piece of all three generations walking with me down the aisle.  I couldn't find any jewelry of my paternal grandmother's, so my Robert and I used the remaining two champagne flutes of her wedding set (circa 1940s) for our toast.  Vintage all over the place :) My mother-in-law made my garter from lace remnants of both her's and my mother's wedding dresses.  She made two, one to toss and one to keep. I gave Robert a little care package on the morning of the wedding with four items in it and a note attached to each item: a pocket watch ("A watch to get you to the altar on time"); a GPS ("A GPS in case you get lost"); 'Irish' Socks ("A pair of socks in case you get cold feet") and a six-pack of beer ("A pack of beer in case you get REALLY cold feet").

We strew the aisle with a white rose petal and shamrock mixture.  It was our little nod toward my English heritage and Robert's Irish heritage. :) The arch we made out of a birch tree and some grapevine.  It took Robert, me, my parents, and his parents to assemble, but it was definitely a fun project. Instead of using table numbers, we used names of different types of birds to go with our bird theme. I love the look of vintage sheet music, so I found some on ebay and used it on the tables as well. For our guestbook thumbprint tree, a colleague of mine who's an art teacher, painted our tree on a canvas as a wedding gift. We also had a memorial table with photos of relatives who have passed away. We lit candles in their honor. We printed and placed an Irish blessing at each guest's seat. 

The cake was made by a family friend who used to be the head pastry chef at the Ritz Carlton in Miami.  It was a 4 tier white almond wedding cake with whipped buttercream filled with white chocolate, hint of almond mousse, and fresh blueberries. Each layer was brushed with concentrated blueberry sauce. The cake topper (two lovebirds) was hand carved by Robert's father who is an artist. We also had a groom's cake, shaped like a Sony Playstation, that we served at the rehearsal dinner, which was held in Robert's parents' backyard. 

{Credits: Photography: Brandy Wine Photography; Venue: River Hills Country Club of Lake Wylie. Reception held in the Promenade Ballroom; Hair & Makeup: William Henry Signature Salon; 

Bridemaids' Dresses: After Six by Dessy; 

Groomsmen Attire: Jos. A. Bank; Cake: Helen Decker; Transporation: Trolley Incorporated; Day of Coordinator: Desta Hudgens; Videographer: Vittorio Video; Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero; Reception Dress: Petal Applique Dress by Calvin Klein}