Wedding throwback: Brocade themed wedding

Now that we're back to blogging, along with lots of recipes and fun things-we're-doing posts, you may have noticed some "Registry 101" and "Wedding throwback" posts. We hope you're enjoying a look back at more of our personal lives during our sixteenth month engagement and how we planned our wedding. There's lots more to come!

Registry 101 posts detail our experiences with registering; there are some pros and cons for various products and how/why we selected what we registered for. We've already posted about our fine china and casual china! Cookware, kitchen electrics, and cutlery will soon be featured in this wedding section.

Wedding throwback posts are more directly about the planning process and exactly how our wedding came to be the way it did. The first post in this section was about addressing wedding related things. And this post today is about how our china pattern inspired our wedding!

The Brocade Brunch Wedding

If someone asked Patrick how we came to have our china pattern as the theme of our wedding he would say "Whitney got this crazy idea in her head" which is probably not too far from the truth. I can't say this was a Pinterest idea or something I saw in a wedding magazine because at some point I knew we were trailblazing in the wedding industry! We got some funny looks when explaining we were using our china pattern as the inspiration for our wedding.

So the idea either came to me in a dream... or staring longingly at my china pattern at work and how excited I was that Patrick and I had finally chosen a pattern! The more I studied the pattern the more I noticed the border of the pattern.

Our "Brocade" china
There's a slim Greek key pattern on the outermost edge in a black band followed by a taupe band and then a wide border featuring a raised leaf design that dances around the rim. My idea was to inverse the pattern and have the black Greek key pattern outline an inch border around an invitation and then have the scrolling raised leaf design go around the outside edge of the invitation.

Like so... 
One of my colleagues at the bridal desk just so happens to be an artist who specializes with pastels and does amazing work as made obvious by this Brocade rendition as a wedding invitation mat. Rebecca Margolese-Malin is a local artist and has lots of experience with portraits and still lifes. See more of her work here. I loved what she had done!

My vision was to take this to Papyrus (we were working with a representative there who partners with various invitation companies and we chose William Arthur) and have this submitted as "artwork" to have printed with text inside the border. I was a little heartbroken when I learned that if we wanted to submit our own "artwork" it must be in vector format (aka a computer file). So then I turned to my husband-to-be who knew all about vector formats.

Patrick really threw himself into the designing invitation task and they came out wonderfully! He listened to my ideas and used Rebecca's Brocade border mat as a jumping off point to create a more relaxed yet classic invitation. We agreed that the scroll all the way around the border and centered text would give the invitation a more formal look and Patrick thought it was too busy. An invitation lets your guests know what to expect for the wedding. Since we were getting married at eleven thirty in the morning we envisioned a simple, relaxed, and still classy reception. With that in mind Patrick removed the borders and simplified the artwork to feature just three scrolls. He then broke up the text, used different alignments and justifications, and created invitation wording that flowed down the paper. I would describe the end result as more organic and represented something more simple and relaxed yet still classy. 
Like so...

We had these ordered in March and then everything else for the reception fell into place when I had another crazy idea! Not only could the Brocade pattern be featured on the invitation but I could put it everywhere!!! Well not really; I wasn't sure how much we could use the scroll pattern but as we came to making decisions I realized we could utilize the scroll pattern in more places than I originally thought we could. Basically, instead of "wedding colors", I had a theme and that was the Brocade scroll pattern. I did pick up the taupe/champagne of the pattern and incorporate it into "colors". Patrick and I didn't want to be defined by what colors we could and couldn't use. By selecting champagne as a focal point we were able to create a neutral palette and have a soft ambiance. The wedding industry will make you have colors though; everyone always ask what they are! So I made blue the other color just to satisfy those folks who must know what my two colors are.

After the invitations were finalized the next thing I realized we could put the scroll on was the cake! How perfect would it be to have our baker pipe champagne colored buttercream frosting onto the tiers of the cake. If you're in Durham, we highly recommend Daisy Cakes for your bakery needs! Much like I didn't want to fuss with determining colors, I didn't want to fuss with a cake topper. Our baker then piped our monogram onto the center of the cake and then I didn't need a cake topper!

Like so...
Photo courtesy of Carol Hedspeth of Conway Photo Shop
Carol put this montage photo feature up yesterday. If you're in northeastern NC, we highly recommend Carol Hedspeth of Conway Photo Shop for your photography needs! My mom also really got into the whole Brocade theme and wanted to make sure we displayed a Brocade china plate as well as the invitation at the reception. One of her crazy ideas was to use a Brocade tea cup as a cake topper but I said that was too crazy! ...and now you see where I get crazy ideas. The sign next to the plate reads: "The scroll on the invitation is the same as the scroll on their china pattern, Brocade by Waterford. Also notice the scroll on the cake and the table numbers. How did they do that?!?! It was Patrick's skills with the computer."

As you see Mom mentioned in the sign, the scroll was featured on the table numbers. I had Patrick create a single scroll image and place it on 4x6 cards with numbers above it. Both the number and scroll were printed onto 4x6 cardstock with dotted outlines. Then we colored in with a black marker for the numbers and a champagne marker for the scroll. Since my other "color" was blue we backed them in blue.

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Next up was linens! Patrick and I had a few very large books of material swatches to go through at our venue. We fell in love with a blue and gold damask pattern that complemented the Brocade scroll pattern. However, before we decided on this, I knew that after making this decision the Brocade scroll would be our focal point of the reception. If we wanted to forego the scroll as a thematic element then we would be able to do a plain gold linen and have more pops of color in the floral selections otherwise the linens and flowers would be competing for our guestss attention. After some deliberation Patrick and I both decided that we liked the blue-gold damask linen and would go with neutral flowers so that the Brocade scroll could be the star of the wedding! We selected the blue-gold damask for the dining tables (half the dining tables would be gold to contrast) and then a sparkly off white overlay for cocktail tables. This is after all my wedding; I needed some glittering sparkle somewhere! The linens coordinated with the theme flawlessly.

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Carol used the blue damask linen as a backdrop for taking a feature picture with our wedding rings. She even used forks since we love trying new recipes and have a food blog! How cool!

At some point Patrick decided we should make the ring bearer pillow. And by "we" he meant his wife-to-be. Off I went to JoAnn's to find a suitable material and guess what I found!
Can you read the label? It's a Brocades/Jacquards material!
I found a gold and blue damask style Brocade fabric!! The blue was a bit brighter than I would've liked but I was sold! My excitement lasted until I realized I now had to make the pillow. But we made it and tied some rings on for the ceremony.

Like so...
And the final Brocade scroll spotting would have been on the ceremony program! Patrick designed these with one of the images he had used in the invitation.

Like so... 
The scroll is the middle of the program; sorry for my bad quality phone picture here.
And that's all the Brocade folks! I know this looks like a lot of Brocade but I think it was subtle.

In conclusion, I'd like to encourage future brides to select a theme rather than colors. Just find something cohesive tying your wedding together. I attribute my following-theme skills to all my time in our high school yearbook elective! But don't worry if you weren't the yearbook editor; it's not too hard to figure out how to tie a unifying element together and create something flawless.

And as a bonus for us, instead of colors to remember our wedding by, we have our Brocade theme. Every time we use our fine china we can think fondly of that special day we became Mr. & Mrs. I am committed to using our china (we've used it three times already; read about the first time here) and know that the older we get, the more we will cherish the china and the day we started our marriage. 

Now, did you wonder what happened to Rebecca's mat? She graciously framed it and gave it to us as a wedding gift! What a keepsake it is! I made it even more keepsake-y. I dried flowers from my bouquet and arranged them inside the mat.

Like so...
The flowers on the left are from my bouquet. The two overlapping rose petals on the right are formed by a petal from my bouquet and a petal from Patrick's boutonniere. I had asked the florist to include a small twig of the rosemary herb in Patrick's boutonniere to represent our time together in the kitchen. I then placed the dried rosemary twig over the two rose petals.

Maybe we like our china pattern a bit too much?!
Do you have dishes you love love love too??

1 comment:

  1. I love reading all this - and I already knew much of it!!! I still think a coffee cup would have been a good cake topper!