Darcie + Neal choose The Sunset Club in Seattle for their wedding venue and thus the venue determined much of their inspiration for the day. From the antiques to the roaring fireplaces to the crystal chandeliers and the hand-painted walls, there was no other place like it. I’m in major love with Darcie’s pale blue Elizabeth Dye wedding dress and all the handmade details for the day including heart garland, fun giant balloon centerpieces, origami escort cards and so much more! With gorgeous photos from Julie Harmsen Photography, their wedding is sure to inspire lots of other DIY couples!
From Darcie: My husband Neal and I can appreciate a martini in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria but are generally really casual and goofy people. Our challenge was to create a wedding that fit the turn-of-the-century style of the Sunset Club and our styles as well. We decided to use a “posh & playful” theme to make the space our own. There was never any doubt that I would be creating many of the decor elements myself. I am an artist and perhaps a little too excited by things like embroidery thread and tacky glue. I only wanted to buy things I couldn’t make. Originally, I even wanted my mother to make my wedding dress…but she was not up to the pressure. Though our wedding was a formal affair, we wanted it to reflect our lives together. Having so many handmade elements helped us achieve that. It honestly never occurred to me to hire someone to, for instance, make the programs. I suppose I get that from my mother.
Our invitations were all collaborations with my mother. I did all of the drawings and design work with a drawing program on my iPad and Adobe Photoshop. My mother did all of the calligraphy as well as finding the perfect paper (imported from Germany!) and working with the printers. As a visual artist who has a comic blog, this was something I just couldn’t resist doing myself.
The Sunset Club is such a beautiful venue that we wanted to keep the added decor relatively simple. I wanted the aisle to be defined in some way without renting a cumbersome aisle runner so I came up with the idea of confetti to bring some playfulness to the room. I bought books of multicolor cardstock and used different size hole punches to punch as much confetti as my hands could handle. I only used the colors in each book that corresponded to our chosen color palette. I also bought a package of paper in a beautiful green that looked great in the venue and used a heart punch for heart-shape confetti.
When I saw the arch under which we would be married, I knew that a curtain of pom poms and paper flowers on ribbon would be all the decoration we would need. I feel it was playful and elegant simultaneously and now it’s hanging up in our apartment!
The most memorable moment of our wedding was one of my husband's vows. He said "I promise when we are old and brittle, I will still dance around the house to make you laugh. I cannot promise, however, that I will always be wearing pants..." It was hilarious! My husband's most memorable moment was probably seeing his father dance to "Gangnam Style"!
I have always loved origami and wanted to incorporate it somehow regardless of the fact that it didn’t really match our venue. I found instructions online to make two bears looking at each other and I messed with it to make it into a bear and a bobcat instead. I choose paper colors specific for each guest so the folded cards could serve as a keepsakes as well.
I saw lots of fingerprint guestbooks on Pinterest and just loved the idea of having a piece of art to hang after the wedding. The drawing tied in the balloons we used for the reception centerpieces and Neal and I decided on having a bear and bobcat being carried away by the balloons. Neal is the bear and I am the bobcat. We chose these so-called “spirit animals” years ago as they each are good representations of our respective personalities.
We decided on balloons both as a way to utilize the incredibly high ceiling in the ballroom and to bring in the playful aspect we wanted. Though we were using balloons we wanted to make sure it didn’t end up looking like a high school dance and we were inspired by the elegance of the Geronimo balloons we saw online and in the BHLDN catalog. We ordered a crazy amount of tulle, ribbon, streamers, and raffia twine and created just what we wanted: elegant balloons! To anchor the balloons physically and visually we ordered cheap three-tiered dessert stands, spray painted them ivory, and filled them with tissue and yarn pom poms. I enlisted the help of all family members on both sides to make the hundreds of pom poms we needed!
Try and let go of the idea that your wedding day should be the most perfect day of all time. Feel free to labor over what type of cake you want but you will be lucky if you have time to eat a piece of it! The truth is even if everything goes wrong it will most likely still be the best day of your lives.
photography: Julie Harmsen Photography // wedding dress: Elizabeth Dye // hair stylist: Jenny Bowker // furniture rentals: The Sunset Club // linen rentals: The Sunset Club // music: DJ Tecumseh at Bamboo Beats // officiant: Pat Stimac at A Heavenly Ceremony // venue (included food: The Sunset Club // servers: The Sunset Club // etc.): The Sunset Club // alterations: Debra Hadeen // balloons: The Red Balloon Company // bride's eyelash extensions: Allison at Unique Skin Boutique // bride's hair color: Sharon at Radar Hair & Records // bride's makeup: Jenny Bowker // bride's nails: Yoko at En Salon Musée // flowers: Patty Tronquet at Pocket Full O Posies // groom's tux: The Tuxedo Club // string trio: Seattle Modern Strings