What grabbed me first about this gorgeous Wilmington real wedding was the paper cranes hanging as the altar during the ceremony. I loved reading the story behind those cranes, and you will too! KMI Photography Inc really did an impeccable job capturing all the gorgeous details that Esther and Randy put so much thought and care into ... Enjoy!
I chose to have a casual vintage wedding that was organic, natural, and romantic, not fussy or stuffy. My husband Randy and I also wanted to make the wedding and the whole wedding weekend a fun, relaxing event with as many personal touches as we had time to pull off.
Our most unique and personal elements were the handmade origami paper cranes. Randy's dad's side of the family is Japanese, and Randy and his brothers spent four years of their childhood in Tokyo. While living in Japan, they learned origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding. Folding a thousand origami cranes as a wedding gift brings good luck to the couple, so Randy's parents and brothers spent several weeks folding one thousand white origami cranes and shipped them to us for stringing. The week of the wedding, Randy and I got together with some friends who helped us string the cranes over snacks and drinks. The Atrium by Ligon Flynn was such a beautiful urban garden venue that all we needed to make it ours was beautiful floating origami cranes that our family and friends provided for us.
Kevin Millard of KMI Photography Inc was a new photographer on the Wilmington wedding scene when he photographed my oldest brother's wedding several years before our wedding. I remember thumbing through the pictures of my brother’s wedding and thinking, wow, this photographer knows how to capture just the right candid shots so that you can look back on that moment and really feel it. When we settled on a Wilmington wedding, I went straight to KMI Photography and hired Kevin.
We hired Social Butterfly Events and Charyl Holmes was our primary coordinator, though others on the team helped us throughout the process and Charyl had lots of Social Butterfly support on the day of the wedding. Randy and I were very busy with school and work, so we needed a coordinator we could trust to help make the planning process efficient and to execute the wedding with little participation on our part. Charyl did a really great job helping us choose wonderful vendors and venues, making the planning process quick and easy. Charyl and the Social Butterfly team did such a good job executing on the day of that we did not have to worry about anything at all except getting ready and showing up!
We chose The Atrium by Ligon Flynn because we wanted a garden but were worried about the possibility of a summer storm swamping the garden, not to mention the mosquitoes! An urban garden was the perfect solution, and the Japanese garden influences complimented our origami crane backdrop.
The Balcony on Dock Street lent hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and understated chandeliers to our casual vintage theme. The building dates back to the 1840's and was once a popular feed store. How interesting is that? The Balcony has been hosting weddings for years and has developed a reputation for great service and great food, so we were sold.
For the centerpieces, I wanted a variety of flowers in many colors, shapes, and sizes, and I collected about 50 antique and vintage glass pieces in many colors, shapes, and sizes to use as vases. There were small vases, glasses, pitchers, and even a few pressed glass top hats. Fiore Fine Flowers took this variety of glassware and came up with dozens of unique arrangements. The final product was quite unique and interesting, and every table got a different look. The boutonnieres and bouquets were also just beautiful. I wasn't sure what flowers and greenery I wanted, but Jean was able to take my descriptors--organic, rustic, natural, romantic--and turn them into arrangements that perfectly suited my style.
The wedding cake that Cindy of Imaginary Friends Bakery created for us was perfection. It was four tiers with three different cakes: strawberry with local strawberry filling and vanilla buttercream; piña colada with pineapple filing and coconut buttercream; and red velvet with chocolate ganash filling and vanilla buttercream. Those cakes were so yummy my mouth is watering just thinking about them!
Cindy created a minimalist design with clean lines and put fresh flowers from Fiore Fine Flowers around the layers, topping it off with our super-cute turtle topper in honor of our two pet turtles.
The focal point of the wedding has to be your love for and commitment to each other and your desire to celebrate that love and commitment with friends and family. The focal point is not a ring, a dress, a guest list a mile long, what your family wants you to do, what your friends want you to do, or what a magazine tells you you should do. The wedding has to be focused on your love and commitment because every day after that isn't a wedding, it's a marriage!
Oh, and to make the big day as stress-free so you can focus on your love, commitment, family, and friends, do your homework and hire great vendors you can trust!
Ceremony Venue: The Atrium by Ligon Flynn
Reception Venue: The Balcony on Dock Street
Photographer: KMI Photography Inc
Wedding Coordinator: Social Butterfly Events
Flowers: Fiore Fine Flowers
Stationery: Misty Morning Prints
Catering: The Balcony on Dock Street
Wedding Cake: Imaginary Cakes
Beauty: Jacey Rogers at JSR Creations
Bride's Dress: Fountaine Bridals
Transportation: Wilmington Trolley Company