Real Weddings

This Purple Wedding Is Quite A Page Turner


This Purple Wedding Is Quite A Page Turner

Two writers are in love, and of course, their passion for the written word had a large part to play in their big day. So all you bookworms out there thinking about tying the knot, sit up this real-life wedding couple has some solid wedding ideas for you. 

Oh and just wait until you hear about the brides dress and shoes! Keep scrolling to find out more and don't forget to visit the full gallery for even more photos from Cortese Photo & Film

purple and blue wedding invitationpurple wedding invite and wedding rings

bride in dress made by her mothercustom wedding dresssurprising the bridal party

custom wedding shoescustom wedding shoes

When two writers get married, you can bet there will be books at the wedding. From our first date, Sean and I (Annie) bonded over our love of literature, and despite the lack of square footage in our Upper Manhattan apartment, there was always room for books. 

The Dress Plan

When planning our wedding, we opted for more space, pastoral views, and closer proximity to family down South and so chose beautiful Williamsburg, VA, for the celebration. My mom is a talented seamstress, so before Sean and I were even engaged I offhandedly remarked that she should make my wedding dress. I couldn't have dreamed she would actually undertake the task, but she quickly offered to do just that when we shared the news of our engagement after two years of dating. 

I scoured countless pattern websites before coming up with a combination of two—neither of which were intended to be bridal—for a long-sleeved lace top and silk fit-and-flare skirt with fabric that we sourced from NYC's garment district. The end result was more than I could have ever dreamed of, and it made for such a special detail on our wedding day. The best part is, since it's a two piece, I plan to wear the top on our first anniversary! 

metallic and lavender bridesmaid dress

bridesmaids in rent the runway dresses

The Complete Look 

To complete the look, the groomsmen wore gray Jos. A Banks suits with lavender ties and bridesmaids wore iridescent gowns from Rent the Runway. I also had a hint of mauve on my shoes, which were custom-designed by Shoes of Prey with a blue insole. (I got the opportunity to make them at a press event for the brand, and when Shoes of Prey owner Jodie Fox got wind I was making my wedding shoes, she helped execute each detail!)

My something borrowed was my grandmother's pearl earrings, and I also wore her blue garter from the 1950s—something old and something blue!

I finished my hair with an ornamented piece from Happily Ever Borrowed. To finish the look, I wore a vintage-inspired blusher veil from Etsy.

groom in light grey and groomsmen in grey suits

groom tearing uphere comes the bride

exchanging vowssweet candid wedding photowedding kiss

sweet wedding couple portrati

The Flowers

With the dress covered, I was free to focus on the other details. Sean and I decided on a lavender and mauve color palette (we both love purple) with sage accents. We enlisted Aleen Floral Design to create the bouquets and boutonnieres and to provide cut flowers for us to create the centerpieces on our own. Roses, lilacs, and irises were complemented by lambs ear and eucalyptus for the bouquets, and the boutonnieres combined lavender and greenery. For the centerpieces, I spent hours on end scouring thrift stores across New York City to find bud vases, milk bottles, and pretty glass vessels. A few stems in each vase were grouped in threes on the tables, with extra greenery surrounding the bottom for fullness. 

Bookmark it

The best detail, however, was the custom table "numbers," which were author names. Each table featured a classic, leather-bound book by that author and a sign done in calligraphy, which was done by a former coworker at a magazine (I'm an editor). The icing on the cake was the bookmark favors printed with our names and date. 

wedding table with books

white and purple ballroom receptionauthor table names

bookmark wedding favorwedding chalkboard sign

ballroom wedding reception

father daughter dancebook table number

purple and white floral decor

The Ceremony

It was a cold, treacherous spring leading up to the wedding, and we somehow ended up with a beautiful 80-degree day and shining sun. We decided to opt out of a first look, and walking down the aisle to see Sean so emotional made it so worth it. At the ceremony, we exchanged the vows we had written to each other under a rustic wooden arch. We both mentioned all the books we would read together, which inspired a few tears from guests. 

The Reception

At the reception, Sean and I had our first dance to "Forever" by Ben Harper. We both have a ton of friends and family, coincidentally, with April birthdays, so we surprised all of the guests with April birthdays with a cupcake after our cake cutting while the DJ played happy birthday. After guests danced the night away and sipped on custom cocktails (a Blushing Bride for me and a whiskey lemonade for him), we had a sparkler exit before riding off into the night. It truly was the best day of our lives.

pink drizzle cake

cake cuttingwedding first dance

Sparkler exit

Budget Breakdown

Venue: $13,000
Photographer: $1,800
Cake: $700
DJ: $1,500
Flowers: $1,200
Officient: $300
Hair/Makeup: $200 (bride), bridesmaids paid for their own
Chair and arch rental: $500
Gown: Bride's mother maid! Fabric: $300
Invitations and stamps: $500

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