In doing their initial research, Sarah and Brian quickly started to realise that for the price of a traditional package wedding at a hotel or resort, they could instead piece it together using the people, places and things they already loved. “Using our everyday favourite things as inspiration for our day made decisions easier and the wedding itself feel authentic and real.” said Sarah.
They married in a traditional Catholic ceremony, and although the church wedding completed contradicted their style, with Catholic families, they felt they felt the serious nature and ritual behind a religious ceremony was important to keep. “You have very little creative control over Catholic ceremonies,” said Sarah. “Although obviously we knew this ahead of time, it meant that the ceremony wasn’t as emotional as I thought it would be, and at times felt impersonal.”
For the rest of their day though, they made hugely personal by drawing inspiration from all their favourite things. They hired their favourite restaurant with the best brisket they’d ever tasted to cater their dinner, and then moved onto a concert venue that they know and loved for their reception.
“Concert venues just naturally have everything you need for a great party,” said Sarah. “Stage lights, a big sound system, a fully stocked bar, you name it. When our guests got there, they were in the right environment to let loose and allow them to party hard.”
The couple have a huge vinyl collection, so they took inspiration for their own vinyl invitations, complete with custom artwork inspired by the Fleetwood Mac Rumours artwork, and used their favourite record covers throughout their decor. Instead of using table numbers, they had each table assigned a classic rock album, and had a calligrapher write everyone’s names across the record as a table plan. “A lot of our family that grew up listening to that music loved looking at all the records and talking to each other about their memories from those artists.” said Sarah.
They also DIY’d other decor for their day. They collected different shaped glassware from thrift shops over the course of a year, and created glowing vases by using pool lights that could change colours at the bottom filled with water and topped with flowers. “It created a dreamy ambience and was super cheap!” she explained.
It was important for the couple to spend money on the things that enhanced the fun, not how things looked. “I loved our wedding because it was chaotic and crazy and loud, not because of what my tables looked like. We drove our budget by what enhanced the experience for us and for our guests and it greatly paid off.”
They hired an emo karaoke band as their entertainment, because they loved them and were already going to their shows every month. “At their shows, you go on stage with the band and sing karaoke to all your favourite pop punk and emo songs from 2005. We weren’t sure if our guests would love or hate it, but we took a gamble and hired them for better or worse. Luckily it really panned out and everyone had a blast.”
Their favourite part of their day, though, was playing their own exit song. They formed a family band and had been practising for months – with Sarah practising her part for two years! “It was our first time on stage together,” she said, “which made it extra special that our family band kicked off in such an extravagant way.”
Sarah and Brian’s favourite thing about planning a wedding overall, however, was having the right situation and and budget to allow themselves to be really creative and execute their ideas, even if it did drive them a little crazy in the last couple pf months” “Keeping normal life balance in the last two months was stressful. I also wish I knew how much emotional energy would be spent on personal relationships. Our relationships with friends and family is pretty drama-free, but even without drama your mind is always busy evaluating ‘Will this offend them?’, ‘Am I being demanding?’, ‘Do they feel appreciated?’, ‘Are they feeling left out?’… The list goes on. These thoughts followed me from getting engaged all the way to the morning of the wedding.”
- Photography: Veronica Varos
- Ceremony Venue: St. Athanasius Church, Pennsylvania
- Reception Venue: Mr Smalls, Pennsylvania
- Coordinator: Hello Productions
- Bride's Dress: Hayley Paige via Bridal Beginnings
- Bride's Shoes: Zombie Peepshow via Etsy
- Hair & Make Up: Caruso Hair and Aesthetics
- Groom's Outfit: Surmesur
- Cake: Prantl's Bakery
- Flowers: The Blue Daisy Floral
- Stationery: Revelry + Heart
- Calligraphy: La Lettera
- Band: The Emo Band