Vintage Inspired Weddings
A Heart-felt Vintage Inspired Jewish WeddingMIKE REED PHOTO
Wedding planning is stressful enough for any couple, so just imagine if in the midst of it all, after booking your venue, your vendors and finding THE dress, you were diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer. Well, that’s exactly what happened to today’s bride Tiffany. I can’t imagine the thoughts and emotions that must run through your head when you receive news like that at any time in your life, but at a time that should be the happiest….it must be unbearable. But after 8 months, enduring operations, chemotherapy and radiation sessions, Tiffany walked down the aisle in a beautiful garden wedding ceremony, a month after she was given the all clear. If ever a celebration summed up the true meaning of a wedding, this is it! The whole day was captured beautifully, and brimming with bright joyful colours, by Mike Reed Photo….
No-one could tell this story other than the bride herself, so allow me to introduce the incredible and inspiring Tiffany…. “After a friendship of 15 years and a relationship of 6, Camden proposed on New Year’s Eve, 2014. I am a typical Type A personality, so I started planning pretty much as soon as we got engaged. By April 2015 I had booked the venue, the major wedding vendors and found my dress. This was fortunate, because two months later in June I found a lump in my breast and was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I was young at 31, had no family history of the disease and no genetic predisposition, so it was shocking and completely out of the blue.
Thankfully, I caught it early (do your self exams ladies!), but our lives were completely upended. Camden was there by my side after four surgeries, four rounds of chemotherapy, and six weeks of radiation – he even helped to “cold cap” me during the infusions to prevent chemo-induced hair loss (which was a complete success) Throughout all of this, we continued with planning the details of the wedding. It kept me sane and gave me something to look forward to. By February 2016 I had completed radiation and was in complete remission, ready to walk down the aisle in March! Our love had only grown deeper through our ordeal, and when I saw my groom at our “first look” I could not help but tear up with joy at the enormity of his love and strength that had brought us to that day.”
“I worked really hard to keep my hair during chemotherapy. The “cold cap” sessions were not fun – I had to literally freeze my scalp with dry ice at -25 degrees for 8 hours each infusion day. And I did lose some hair, mostly along my hairline where the caps didn’t quite have enough coverage. But by the end of the treatment I still had lots of hair, enough so that no one noticed I was going through chemo! So by the time of the wedding I was proud of my hair and I simply could not bear to wear it up. I wanted “big, vintage waves” to show off my hair and the stylist from Adore Salon knew exactly what to do, giving me the gorgeous “Veronica Lake” look.
For my makeup I simply wanted to look like me, but more radiant, and Adore did a wonderful job with that as well. She used a palette of neutral and soft pink tones to complement my fair skin, green eyes, and auburn hair.”
“When looking at wedding venues, the Hummingbird House in south Austin really stood out. The owners are professional gardeners, and it shows, from the “living wall” of flowers and succulents to the lush landscaping and fountains, it was the perfect venue for a dreamy garden wedding. The newly built glass walled pavilion sealed the deal, since we could have the best of both in the outdoors for the ceremony and indoors for the reception. I chose a soft palate of pastels, lots of greenery, and spring blooms, reflecting the season as a time of new beginnings and renewal. I wanted the florals to be soft and sprawling, with a “just picked from the garden” look.”
Our taste favors the vintage- so our wedding reflected this sense of style. At our welcome table we had wedding photographs dating back to the 19th century from both sides of our family.
“I chose a Justin Alexander gown of Chantilly lace and added a deep v-neck and half sleeves. I was so certain that I did not want a strapless gown and would not even try one on, but my sister pulled the Chantilly lace Justin Alexander gown (Style 8766) from the rack and insisted. I had the classic “tearing up” moment when I did, and I knew I’d found my dress. I really loved the gorgeous all over lace, the classic buttons down the back, the chapel length train, and the intricate beading at the waist. The owner of Blue Bridal suggested that I could order extra lace and “build up” the dress to give it the sleeves and neckline I so desired, and that sealed the deal!
My seamstress did an amazing job, and used the matching lace to add a deep v-neck in the front and back, as well as classic half sleeves. She finished the edges with tiny seed pearls to match the beading on the waist. It was so well done you’d never guess it was altered! I felt like a vintage princess in the dress, and I think it is such a classic design that it will never become dated. I have had it preserved, so hopefully it will become an heirloom my daughter or granddaughter can wear someday.”
“My crescent-shaped bouquet included anemones, garden roses, wax flowers, sweet peas, lily of the valley (expensive, but a splurge to make me feel special), parrot tulips, Queen Anne’s lace, stock, and ranunculus. I had my bouquet trimmed in trailing peach ribbons and my grandmother gave me a lace handkerchief she had carried in her own wedding in 1955, which I wrapped around my bouquet to carry down the aisle – it was my “something old.””
“I had a hard time finding a veil I liked – I really wanted lace but I didn’t want it to clash with or overwhelm the lace on my dress. I knew I wanted a cathedral length veil to keep with the vintage look I was going for. I finally found my gorgeous veil on Etsy, designed by Marisol Aparicio (the “Poppy” veil). I loved how it had a bit of lace, but not so much to overwhelm, and the unique placement so that it covered my hair in a nod to old fashioned modesty. The veil was my “something new.” I also knew I wanted a flower crown, but something delicate, and less hippie Bohemian. I chose white wax flowers to emulate the flower crown Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day.”
“We chose to honor Camden’s rich heritage and my newly adopted Jewish faith with a traditional yet modern Reform Jewish wedding. Our florist, Petals Ink, custom built the birch chuppah (canopy) with blush roses that matched our Ketubah design, and the lace cover was a vintage find.”
“It is customary in Jewish weddings for both brides and grooms to be escorted down the aisle by both parents, representing a union of our families, so that is what we did. To be honest I don’t remember a lot from my walk down the aisle- my mind was going a mile a minute- but I do remember seeing Camden waiting for me at the chuppah with such love in his eyes.”
“The ceremony included Camden’s late grandfather’s Tallit which the rabbi wrapped around our shoulders, binding us together as we shared a cup of wine from the same silver Kiddush cup Camden used at his Bar Mitzvah. We put a modern twist on the traditional Seven Blessings as well – the rabbi would read each blessing in the original Hebrew, and then our guests would read an English blessing corresponding to the theme of the prayer. It was wonderful to feel the love radiating from the words as our friends and family blessed our marriage in unison.”
“I wanted the cocktail hour and reception to feel like a fun garden party – which it did! Our simple “signature” drink was prosecco with a twist of lemon and gold sugar rim.
I kept up the vintage feel with the centrepieces- silver compote vases surrounded by mercury glass votive candles. The silverware was really silver and the dishes were lined in silver as well. I had a sprig of silver dollar eucalyptus tucked into each of the menu cards folded around the napkins.”
“Sweet Treats Bakery did a phenomenal job with our cake. We had three tiers, each a different flavour. The top was pistachio-honey, the middle was almond with fresh strawberry filling, and the bottom was a custom lavender honey flavour. I chose a traditional white buttercream icing with garlands, Swiss dots, and beading between the layers. “
“The topper was a c. 1950s vintage gem that I found, cleaned up, and got crafty embellishing. The ranunculus, poppy pods, bay leaves, and rosemary accents were added by our florist.”
Pearls of wedding wisdom from the bride…
“First, sometimes crazy things happen that you can’t plan for. I was very glad we bought wedding insurance after my diagnosis, even though we didn’t end up needing it. It gave a lot of peace of mind. Second, people probably aren’t going to remember all the details you’ve slaved over, so cut yourself some slack. I remember being paralyzed by napkin style and color choices! I ended up just going with white, and no one noticed or cared!”
“Our first dance was a fun jitterbug to the 1954 hit “Sh-Boom” by The Crew Cuts- we practiced that dance for months, even during chemo and radiation! We also had our DJ play a lot of 1930s-1950s music during dinner and dancing- we had so many compliments on the romantic selections by Fats Waller, Al Bowlly, The Ink Spots, and Sam Cooke. “
“At the end of the evening, we departed in a 1963 white Bentley sedan, a perfect end to a beautiful night – the end of one journey back to health, and the beginning of a new one together.”
Tell us a little bit about your photographer…
“I stumbled across Mike Reed Photo just going through lists of local vendors. I was looking through his gallery and noticed people we knew – friends of Camden’s sister. We asked them for a review and they raved about him so I set up a meeting. We liked his upbeat and fun personality, and his photos reflected a lot of joy and seemed very true to life. It was a good match!”
A huge congratulations to Tiffany & Camden – wishing you a long, happy and healthy life together! And huge thanks to their photographer Mike Reed for capturing it all – the love, light and every little detail – so beautifully. If like me you have fallen head over heel for his bright and colourful style of photography, you can see more of it over on his website www.mikereedweddings.com, and you can also find him on Facebook.
Photography ~ Mike Reed Photo // Wedding Dress ~ Justin Alexander (Style 8766) via Blue Bridal Boutique // Veil ~ Marisol Aparicio (Poppy) // Venue ~ Hummingbird House // Floral Design ~ Petals Ink // Hair & Makeup ~ Adore Salon // Wedding Cake ~ Sweet Treats Bakery // Paper Moon Photobooth Prop ~ Dappsy