Many of our readers who are also good friends will know this, but Molly and I got married last month. Since ArtsVegas has grown so much in the last 6 months, we decided it would be fun to share our wedding story and the awesome design project that it became.
The story started in late 2010. I knew that I wanted to propose to Molly and began to think about a ring. I was interested in something conflict-free and decided that a sapphire would be an ideal choice as an alternative to the stigma associated with diamonds. During the nineteenth century, sapphires were actually a more desired engagement ring because of their rarity. Molly studies Victorian literature and is a Virgo, so it seemed like the perfect match to me.
My search of local retail outlets turned up short; rings that I found were altogether excessively garish. I started sketching out something that would fit her personality, simple and classic. I searched for someone that could create a ring from my design, and found them across the country in New York.
The Natural Sapphire Company has been around since 1939, and they specialize in conflict-free sapphires directly from small-scale, environmentally responsible miners in countries free of military dictatorships. The best part: they will produce your custom designs. They produced a rendering of my design for me to sign off on and shipped it to Las Vegas. I tracked the package by the minute, stealthily receiving it. The finished ring was amazing. My proposal came in late February and, lucky for me, so did Molly’s answer (yes).
We really wanted to go all out with something classic that had a nicely designed theme. We chose to follow the midcentury modern aesthetic that we’ve embraced over the last few years: Sixties cool, clean lines, fancy clothes, and vintage style. We decided on the wedding colors first. Ocean Blue and Daffodil Yellow were selected from the Pantone Wedding color swatchbook.
Next came the task of scheduling an engagement photo shoot. We’re lucky to know a lot of people in the creative community here in Las Vegas, and we came into contact with Jennifer Maupin a while back while doing another creative project. We can’t recommend her enough; she shot all of the wedding photos shown here.
Engagement photos in hand, I started designing the “save the dates.” At the time, I was obsessed by the vintage Las Vegas travel posters of United and TWA Airlines and wanted to create something akin to that. We chose a great black-and-white photo from the engagement set, and I put Molly to work crafting a headline for the “advertisement” side of the card.
I used House Industries‘ Photolettering site to find the perfect typeface, “ED Interlock,” an iconic hand-lettered font designed by venerable typographer Ed Benguiat. At only $7 a pop, I can’t recommend the photolettering site enough for quality headline display type. The back of the card was set in different weights of Burbank, designed by Tal Leming, a type designer living in Baltimore (where we’re from!). This typeface was inspired by hand-lettered titles of classic animation, and comes in a million (okay, twenty) weights. Adding some carefully chosen quirky elements (atomic stars, dancing feet) throughout the text made it vintage and playful.
Once the save the dates were mailed out, Molly started buying the vintage pieces that would make up the individual centerpieces. She shopped thift stores like Goodwill, eBay’ed, and added to the items already on hand, such as a vintage fan and a desk lamp. In late summer, after months of picking, we amassed our collection of vintage pieces and designed each centerpiece.
We themed each one: the “cinema” centerpiece was designed around a vintage slide projector, and the “office” centerpiece featured a 60′s yellow typewriter. After twelve centerpieces were finished, we photographed each one and packed them away in boxes with their accompanying photos, so we’d know exactly how they’d be arranged on our wedding day.
Toward the end of July, I decided that because I’m a web designer, we needed a great site. I had four wisdom teeth (better late than never) removed on a Friday and punched-out this website over the next two days while heavily drugged. I drew a “tulip” border design that would be carried over to other materials, and we added examples of “what to wear” to help our guests with the 60′s theme and aesthetic.
The holidays came and so did the time for me to design the invitations. I carried-over the same typefaces from the save-the-date cards, paired with our corresponding colors and tulip border. I drew an abstract mid-mod illustration and a silhouette that was inspired by vintage clothing-pattern packaging. I ordered a custom embosser for the envelopes, giddy that the first initials of our last names spelled “OH.” After the design was finalized (a hard thing to say when designing your own work), I bought $537 worth of paper from the Paper Source. Their stock is expensive but substantial. They also had the colors we needed. I bought an affordable color inkjet printer capable of taking different-sized stock, and we began the process of printing, cutting, gluing, and assembling each invitation by hand.
I can’t tell you exactly how long this took, but it was a project in and of itself. Each invitation had four pieces: A three-layer folded outer wrap, a two-layer “what to wear” card, an RSVP card and (hand-embossed) envelope, and a cut-and-tie ribbon around the whole thing. The final piece was so thick, that we had to hand-glue every outer envelope (also embossed) in order to make sure everything was sealed tightly. The post office randomly decided that a few of our invites were too much for the 65-cent stamps affixed to them and left postage-due slips with a handful of recipients (very embarrasing).
We wanted to have something unique for guests to find their tables. Molly had the idea of using vintage 45 records as place cards. We printed, cut, and trimmed circular labels for each record with the guest’s name on one side, and the original label on the other. Each table had a corresponding 12″ record with a printed table number. We used record racks to display the individual records for guests to find their tables.
Molly’s wedding dress was from David’s Bridal, and her vintage-inspired reception dress was from the Las Vegas bridal salon, Couture Bride. Actually, we had a TV wedding back in February on the TLC show Randy to the Rescue (did I mention that?), in which she wore that dress for the camera. Her headpiece was also handmade and vintage designed.
I procured a custom suit from the best tailor in town, Milano’s Fashion on Maryland Parkway. Joe is the proprietor and master tailor. His shop has been there for almost 30 years. He’s outfitted everyone who was anyone in Vegas and knows exactly how to alter a suit to make it look and feel like it’s 1965.
The wedding day finally came and everything went off without a hitch. It was held at the venerable Las Vegas Country Club, a mid mod staple since the Rat Pack hung out there. The floral arch created by Layers of Lovely was a perfect backdrop for our ceremony. Our guests really stepped it up with the outfits they put together. The vintage centerpieces looked great, and we danced the night away to our wedding song, “You Send Me,” by Sam Cooke.
A photo booth was rented so that guests could take a memory home with them, and our cakes were custom designed and baked by Angela Carney of Bittersweet Creations. The wedding cake was filled with fresh raspberries, and she made a custom groom’s cake that looked like a record and tasted like a Reese’s cup.
We have great memories of the night thanks to the photo and video work of Jenn M Photography and Justin Yurkanin (not to mention Daniel Lowber). It was a lot of work but in the end totally worth all of the effort. We hope you enjoy the photos half as much as we do.
ArtsVegas: Covering Las Vegas Art and culture since 2009.