A Dashwood Cottage Wedding Inspired By Sense and Sensibility’s Victorian Flavor Tied Together With Lace & Buttons
Fair warning guys, I went a bit detail nuts on this one…..and I’m not sorry! Our bride, Summer Coulter, put on a clinic where DIY’s & decor elements were concerned & the thought of not showcasing her effects completely felt like a disservice! As it turns out, Summer Coulter & James Babiarz were inspired by Sense and Sensibility, specifically Dashwood Cottage. Wanting to capture an air of Victorian flavor, Summer opted out of any and all whites, working with a palette of pinks, creams, champagnes, peaches, taupes & dusty blues, including her gorgeous satin & tulle gown with scalloped lace trim in champagne. There are so many phenomenal elements to this wedding from hand painted watercolor table numbers, recipe card escort cards, to hand pickled items, jams & preserves. Lace & buttons were a strong theme used throughout, tying all little bits together. Our bride & her family worked very hard throughout the year to bring the vision to life and it shows! At the end of the gallery, is a word from our bride. I really encourage you to read all of it, as it is a wonderful way to understand how a bride arrived at her final vision, executing it flawlessly!
Novella of the Bride….
The overall inspiration behind this wedding was the cottage that the Dashwood sisters are forced to take up in the classic chick flick, Sense and Sensibility. As a devoted detail movie nerd I have soaked in every detail of their space in that film. Victorian sure….stuffy no. I wanted the formality and grandeur of Victoria but I wanted the warmth and functionality of the Dashwood cottage. Most of all I wanted no white. I wanted warm, candle glow colors pinks, creams, champagnes, peaches taupes and dusty blues. We really fell in love with Meredith Manor as they had gorgeous historical grounds, a brand new tent and an amazing catering staff. Mimi and Mike make everything easy and let you DIY a ton of stuff.
The first thing that caught my eye was a centerpiece picture in Martha Stewart Living where they had collected old tins that contained bright blocks of garden flowers. What I loved was that each tin contained only one type of flower so it never looked too fussy or overdone. Karen Strogus of Strogus’ Flower Shop & Greenhouses absolutely nailed this concept. My mother and I spent a year collecting the tins from Amish Country and Northern Michigan. Karen simply lined each of them with a plastic bag filled with water so it didn’t leak.
Along with the centerpieces came a watercolor painting which served as a table indicator and also the theme of the favor the guest would receive. Each watercolor painting was created by my mother, Bobette Coulter. We are now in the process of having them all matted and framed for the house.
All of the favors were homemade jams, preserves, pickled items or a marmalade of some sort. James (the groom) is an accomplished homechef and we jarred and pickled seasonally as to capture the year of our engagement. On the top of each is a circular muslin fabric with a each-letter-individually-
All of the placeholders were also individually handstamped. And placed in an envelope with the recipe of the item and a small mini version of the watercolor paintings. The mini painting stickers were made editing photographs of each piece of art in Microsoft paint and then printed onto stickers from Staples.
For my bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets and boutonnieres we decided to go more formal. Again Karen Strogus used her magic to create the perfect color balance for me. I sewed buttons onto all the ribbon streamers to add a little bit of warmth and personal interest. On my bouquet my mother actually let me repurpose the pearled hat that held her wedding veil.
Buttons became an easy theme as I sew so much and had a ton of them. My mother used buttons to hand make all of the napkin rings on the table. Each of them was different. However for the bride and groom she used buttons from our grandmother’s and grandfather’s collection. It was a very personal way to make me feel that they were with us.
For the ceremony A LOT of time went into making the program covers. Each of them were hand sewn as a jacket cover. Much like the flowers, they are all different colors in a “sherbet sort of palate”. I made 130 in total and it took me all year. The program itself I printed at home. Guests can reuse them as a small book cover or a journal cover.
The bridesmaids were given three colors to choose from and told to buy a floor length dress. Some dresses are from David’s Bridal some are from Amasale. They all got to have their personal styles reflected and work with whatever budget was appropriate. They each looked stunning. The matching bouquets with streamers helped pull it all together. Normandy Salon did all of our hair and makeup.
I am a cheesemonger at Murray’s cheese and so it was out of the question not to have a great cheese table. “Something Old (Aged Manchego), Something New (Chevre d’Argental), Something Yummy (Challerhocker) and Something Blue (Camazola Black Label)” served up everyone with pairing items and crackers. I also made the “Lets Grow MOLD together” sign.
The fellas all got their tuxedo’s at Men’s Warehouse. As I got my dress at David’s bridal they gave us a great deal. I looked at Klienfelds and Amsale but I couldn’t find a champagne colored dress I really liked at the boutique stores. However I did find it and for half the price at David’s Bridal. However, it wasnt until I got the dress altered by The Wedding Dresser’s genius Susan. She brought out my shape in the dress and she worked her tail off!
The Bakers at Buffington designed our fabulous cake (salted caramel filling yum!). All of the buttons on the cake are edible and the scalloped bits are based on my dress.
For the hotel favors we bought gable boxes from BagsandBows.com. I cut 1 1/2 inch strips of muslin and made a bow around the middle of them. I of course added buttons to the middle. Inside along with beverages, snacks, sweets and gums I added little packets of Advil. I also made a CD we entitled “For the Ride Home”. Each track on the CD is inspired by a person in our wedding party.
My best friend Brett Rappaport who is a pastry chef at The Dutch took it upon himself to create the second hotel favor. His inspiration was the chocolate they used to put on your pillow in hotels. He created four petite fours inspired by each season. Summer= strawberry lime pate de fruit, Fall= Peanut Butter Rum Fudge, Winter= Peppermint Patties and Spring= Honey Saffron Bon Bon. We ordered the clear boxes from BagsandBows.com.
Along with a traditional mailer Save the Date we posted this video to our Facebook pages as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Floral Designer: Strogus’ Flower Shop & Greenhouses
Musicians: Bowman String Quartet
Reception Venue: Meredith manor
Cake Designer: Bakers of Buffington
DJ: Main Line Executive Entertainment
Shoes: David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale
Photographer: Casey Fatchett Photography