Real Wedding: Josie + Adam’s Modern Handmade Wedding

I was so excited when I opened my email the other day and saw this lovely wedding sent from Josh Merideth of Bella Grace Studios. I love everything about this wedding! This wedding was handmade, vintage, creative, fashionable and oh so sweet! The wedding featured oversized yellow balloons, gingham ties, cotton boutonnieres, clown noses, izze cocktail drinks, a vintage wedding dress, a hand tailored suit, yellow shoes, retro veil, modern art, photo-booth, colorful pom pom throws, red-penguin sculptures, and hand-written vows.

Josie was sweet enough to answer some questions about her day also. Thanks Josie! And congrats to you both – I love all the touches to your wedding and the location is perfect!

What was the theme/inspiration for the wedding location?
As Kentucky natives who’ve lived in New York for years, Adam and I really wanted our wedding to have touches of the big city even though we headed back down south to hold the whole soiree. So naturally our search started and ended at 21C Museum Hotel, Louisville’s amazing new-ish hotel/modern art museum. 21C also gave us the chance to have our ceremony (rooftop terrace) and reception (atrium gallery) in two different spaces without traveling. The yummy in-house restaurant Proof handled the food, which saved me from finding a caterer. Adam and I wanted the wedding to be more of a party–vintage, handmade, whimsical, and budget-friendly–and we were surprised when it actually came together.

Some photos of the amazing hotel – when I visit Louisville, I’m totally staying here. Love the decor!

white bedroom, brick building

The flowers came from David Williams of Magnolia’s, who didn’t even blink when I asked for kumquats in my bouquet and berries in my girls’ corsages.

yellow and orange bouquet, yellow tie, cotton boutonnieres

I love the First Look moment!

first look in the hallway, kurt cobain print

Dress designer? eBay! It would have been unconscionable for me to spend a lot on my dress. With a designer out of the question, I never even set foot in a store. eBay has amazing vintage categories so I kept searching for ’50s vintage white dress or something like that. I got it from seller calendargirl for about $60. I knew I’d want to keep it forever. How does anyone bring herself to sell her dress?!

big yellow balloons

I love the use of balloons for the wedding setting – so fun and festive!

big yellow balloons and decor

We held the ceremony on the penthouse’s roof deck which cozily held our 90ish guests and our 3-ft. yellow balloons. My friend Sarah and I made the pennant hanging at the back of the deck and we put little paper bags of crafty pom poms on the aisle seats for guests to toss in lieu of rice. The ceremony was quick and sweet with handwritten vows, tears from both me and Adam (shhh, he will deny it), and amazing music‑-the bridal party walked out to the Benny Hill theme and I made my way down the aisle to the Cosby Show theme. Afterward, people mingled while my dad passed around bags of popcorn and peanuts and Izze fruit sodas. For the reception, we all headed down to the amazing three-story atrium gallery, and were very proud of our home state when our NY guests noticed that the art on display rivals what they’re used to seeing at the MoMA.

The kiss of course! On TV people’s wedding kisses always look bizarre somehow, or overly Frenchy. But ours was perfect. I was also so happy to get pictures of my Grammy in Groucho Marx glasses (see below!) and my Grandma in a clown nose for posterity.

yellow balloons + first kiss

red penguins

Our catering, which was super simple–bison sliders, French fries, grits, salad, fruit salad–was provided by Proof, the James Beard-award winning restaurant attached to 21C. The cakes were the most important culinary event of the evening. There were nine, provided by The Bakery and Cake Flour, two local bakeries that did a killer job of fattening up our guests. Each table had a different flavor cake as a centerpiece, and along with everyone else, I had fun table-hopping to try a few. Nothing gets people up and moving like seeing a chocolate truffle cake across the room. Our cake toppers came from GooseGrease on Etsy. She hand painted these little wooden cuties to look just like us. Now that Martha Stewart has caught on to her, her waiting list is huge.

details and grandma wearing glasses with a nose and moustache

rooftop wedding exit

Our guests went nuts for the photobooth from the Magnolia Photo Booth Co. (which just opened a branch in San Francisco). Before the wedding, I worried that our touches were too trendy, and Adam did a great job of reminding me that, save for a few engaged friends, none of our guests troll wedding blogs all day. The morning of the wedding, Adam, his dad and brothers made an inspired choice; they picked up a cardboard cutout of Barack Obama. It was great to see all the ladies smooching him in the booth, the men giving the thumbs up and, strangely, a few children attempting a decapitation with a plastic sword.

We spent much of the day with our fantastic photographer, Josh Merideth of Bella Grace Studios. We were insanely lucky to get him just three months before the wedding because he’d had a cancellation. He had a bunch of ideas that I really loved and he and his assistant were completely tireless, running around all day shooting every little detail. He’s really an unparalleled choice for Kentucky brides, but he’ll travel anywhere ladies!

Don’t worry that he seems completely preoccupied by everything except the wedding. He’ll get excited about a month out, and then at the wedding he’ll be even more jazzed than you are.

Thank you so much Josie + Adam for sharing your amazing day with us! Thank you Josh for allowing me to share these photos. You can see even more from the wedding on Josh’s blog.

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  1. These images are absolutely beautiful! Such inspiration for me as a photographer… I love the big yellow balloons, the vintage dress, the little touches here and there. It's all so sweet.

  2. what a darling wedding! thanks for sharing, this post brought a smile to my face! :)

  3. I love this wedding! I'm dying to know, where did you get the groom's awesome yellow tie?

  4. her dress is so cute and all the deatils are amazing! thanks for sharing

  5. I love the groom's attire…gorgeous wedding!

  6. Goodness me, this wedding is amazing! I so want to know where Josie got her adorable tulle veil! I must get one now!

  7. That necklace is gorgeous! Where'd she get it???

  8. What an adorable wedding! I love those kumquats in her bouquet!

  9. Love the cotton boll boutineers! And the penguins, of course!

  10. LOVE the cotton ball boutineers! So cute & fun!

  11. Bertie – She made the veil!

  12. where'd you get those mustaches?!

  13. Hi all! Thank you for being super sweet. Let's see…Adam's tie was custom made by seller fieldguided on Etsy (yellow gingham ties are extinct, apparently). A family friend made a perfect replica of the Sara Gabriel "Wendy" veil. Adam gave me the necklace last Christmas; it's from the MoMA store in NY. For cotton, is wonderful. –Josie

  14. Great images. I want a red penguin.

  15. incredible color palette- very similar to the one we created today on the Perfect Palette!

  16. Such a pretty wedding! Where is the groom's outfit from? I need to find something just like it!

  17. LOVE this wedding! Love the vintage photobooth and props – Josie, can you tell us where you found those props?! Mustache on stick is not easy to come by (good ones that is!) – beautiful details, love love love it!!! Congrats!!!

  18. The photo booth company brought the mustaches. Something's Hiding in Here has them from time to time on Etsy. Maybe they could custom make them for you?

    Adam couldn't find anything that fit, so he had his suit custom made by Nelson Tailor Shop on NYC's Lower East Side. He looks so cute!

  19. those cotton ball boutonieres are divine!
    this whole wedding is just beautiful. thanks for sharing!!

  20. Best use of balloons for a wedding ever! Great idea. And love, love love the mustaches. Very unique ideas. Good job!

  21. I am loving those fabulous little bags of peanuts! They did an awesome job of making their roof top wedding look like a picnic in the backyard. Cute as buttons these two~!

  22. Love you pics, I used to be the assistant banquet director at 21c/Proof and this is by far the funnest wedding they have done! Congrats!!

  23. To think that Josie has my DNA!


  24. such a fun cute wedding love it!!! we used cotton boutonnieres too and i had a cotton bouquet–it was a total hit ;)

  25. I am not "anonymous"…I am her maternal grandma and proud to be.

  26. I love love love the details of this wedding!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I did a little love post over on my blog as well!!

  27. I love grandma in the glasses- what a fun memory to keep of her!

  28. They are the cutest!
    Very inspiring wedding.

  29. I Love this wedding, its very similar to mine. We did the same home made flags with our wedding colors of yellow, gray and cream. We also had the same yellow balloon, but ours filled up loop sided.

  30. How fun!!! I'm totally followng your blog now:) Great photos!

  31. ADORABLE WEDDING! I know this is an older post but I MUST know where you got the groom’s vest and slacks?! We’re looking for the same exact thing! We can’t find slim fit, light grey with a vest anywhere! Thanks so much!!


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