Two years ago today, I married my favorite runner. Happy Anniversary, Phil!
I’ve previously shared how Phil and I met while training for the New York City Marathon, and how he proposed at the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. To celebrate our second anniversary, I thought I’d share some photos from our 1930s and 1940s Hollywood themed vintage wedding.
We got married in Bristol, Rhode Island at the Herreshoff Marine Museum Pier. Rhode Island is our favorite summer destination and we wanted to share it with our families and friends. We looked at venues in Newport and Bristol, but when we saw the museum’s west-facing pier, we knew that was the spot to host our vintage wedding with a killer sunset.
For our wedding portraits, we headed to the bucolic Colt State Park just five minutes away.
Finding inspiration was easy. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been enamored with the classic movie musicals of the 1930s and 1940s. Among my favorites from the era are Swing Time starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, For Me and My Gal starring Gene Kelly and Judy Garland, Anchors Aweigh starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson, and anything starring Esther Williams.
Thankfully, Phil shares a similar aesthetic with a love for Art Deco architecture and design.
Ginger Rogers was the model for my own look—finger waves and curls paired with a 1930s inspired silk gown by Jenny Packham. In everything I chose, I asked myself: “What would Ginger do?”
With Old Hollywood as our guide, Phil and I planned and executed everything ourselves. We spent weekends scouring flea markets for antique glass bottles to house floral arrangements, vintage brooches and tie clips as the guests’ favors, handmade crocheted doilies to line the tables, and other odds and ends to set the mood.
Instead of escort cards, we soaked tags in tea to give them an aged look, and tied each one to a vintage tie clip for the men and brooch for the ladies. We hung them all from antique shutters we found at a second hand store. We hand-picked which pin or clip each guest received, trying our best to match the jewelry to their personality and taste. The tag bore the guest’s name and table.
Our tables were marked by years, from 1925 to 1945. For the table marker, we carefully chose and printed photos from those years that represented something special to us. Then we affixed them to books.
Both avid readers, Phil and I stalked the book drop in our building’s basement to amass a collection of vintage titles.
As runners, we chose 1936 as the year Jesse Owens dazzled at the Olympics. Since we got engaged at Disney, we chose 1928 as the year Mickey Mouse was born, and so on. We picked events from movies, music, art, architecture, literature, sports, world events and more. It was really fun to put it all together. Some of my favorites include the birth of Wonder Woman in 1941, Gene Kelly’s movie debut in 1942, the first chocolate chip cookie recipe in 1938, the debut of The Wizard of Oz in 1939 and Coco Chanel’s first “Little Black Dress” in 1926. Phil chose nods to Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, the Chrysler Building, polo, and sailing. Our table? Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, naturally.
Dinner was a traditional New England Clambake on the beach, including clams, mussels, lobster, cod, sausage, corn, stuffing, onions, brown bread and more.
Instead of a traditional wedding cake, we opted for a cake buffet with six different flavors including chocolate, lemon, golden layer, carrot, cheesecake and turtle cheesecake from a Rhode Island institution called Gregg’s that’s famous for their cakes.
During dinner, we played swing and jazz from the 1930s and 1940s off my iPod. But after dinner, my band, The Fades, played as a wedding gift to Phil and me. I got up to sing a few songs here and there, but our male lead singer did most of the heavy lifting. No, an ’80s cover band isn’t on theme, but it was crazy fun.
The music we played before the ceremony encapsulated the theme for our wedding perfectly, though: “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails” by Fred Astaire, “Don’t Falter At The Alter” by Cab Calloway, and others culminating in “For Me and My Gal” by Gene Kelly and Judy Garland.
The bells are ringing for me and my gal.
The birds are singing for me and my gal.
Everybody’s been knowing to a wedding they’re going,
and for weeks they’ve been sewing, every Susie and Sal.
They’re congregating for me and my gal.
The parson’s waiting for me and my gal.
And sometime we’re goin’ to build a little home for two, for three or four or more…
In love land for me and my gal.
Our Old Hollywood Vintage Wedding
Our Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Herreshoff Marine Museum
Photographer: Lev Kuperman
Caterer: Compton Clambakes
Flowers: Greenlion Design
Dress: Jenny Packham
Band: The Fades