REAL WEDDING | This post might make Vogue’s Anna Wintour rethink her stance on *soft* images. BONUS: One of the prettiest + one of the smartest trends in weddings.

Ok, so just so you know, today’s feature makes my heart beat so far out of my chest that it jogs up my sternum and slaps me in the face with my aorta.  (I should note here that my aorta’s a bitch.  She face slaps with an intensity and meaning that cannot be explained without first welcoming into my life a belief in reincarnation, and then accepting that souls can come back as aortas.  Bitchy souls, at that.)  … Okey dokey!  Now that we’ve arrived safely in Looneytown on this fine Monday afternoon, we can get going!  And, BEGIN:

Happy Monday afternoon, pretty faces!  How did your weekends go?  I hope they went swimmingly.  Honey and I did a few things over the weekend, which I will list now: We visited Whole Foods because we felt like we haven’t been burning through our cash meaninglessly and organically enough recently, we watched the World Cup (P.S. – today’s wedding is soccer-related, so yay, RELEVANCE WIN!), we worked a bit (we both have slight, noncontagious but highly symptomatic cases of workaholism, so we’re also one another’s enablers… isn’t it grand?), and we watched a little tv.  Well, more like we started watching a little tv really late at night, and then Honey nodded off mid-tv-watching, and I stayed up for another two hours watching documentaries on the fashion world.  (I ALSO watched a documentary on birthing in America which blew my effing mind out of the water.  Shall I discuss on the blog?  Let me know.  I mean, this *is* a wedding blog.  Not a birthing in America blog.  But OMIGODITWASSOINTENSEYOUGUYS.)

NOW.  Before I get into this, here’s a refresher course on documentaries.  Let’s be reminded that the first rule of Documentary of Yourself Club is don’t join Documentary of Yourself Club unless you want a documentary wholly about the crappiest side of yourself to be made available to the public in perpetuity, and to subsequently rip to shreds your hard-fought public persona.  Because no matter what the documentary maker tells you, it will be about the areas of your life that suck a lot/are most interesting/make you most relatable.  Because finding the relatable human inside of you is what makes a bangin’ documentary, Anna Wintour.  This ends our refresher course.

Ok, so HOLY BEJEEZES.  Turns out fashion world documentaries are SUPER HEAVY AND MIND-BLOWING, and go against every preconceived notion I’ve ever had about fashion world documentaries.  Not to be confused with every preconceived notion I’ve ever had about the fashion world itself, of course.  That lil place ain’t a tough nut to crack.  I’m referring only to fashion world documentaries.  You see, the rub is that I simply didn’t expect Anna Wintour to allow the filmmaker to peer so deeply inside of her life and work; even permit access to her child.  All of that access, to her coworkers, and her private life, obviously makes up the beauty part of the film.

Anna Wintour a) has the COOLEST name in the world and, b) is, appropriately, as cold as ICE.  Except, and here’s the key… c) as suspected, there is good reason for her seemingly impenetrable and emotionless nature.  But instead of spoiling the film for you (unless of course you want me to; just let me know)… I’ll simply suggest you check it out – it’s called The September Issue – and I’ll hone in on one particular aspect of the story that’s relevant to today’s wedding.  Woot!  I like connecting things that are seemingly completely unconnected and probably should remain as such.  So fun!  OK HERE WE GO:

The film, for the most part, is predicated on the idea that Anna is cold and emotionally empty, and it serves to prove the argument quite well, indeed.  Its focus is on the adversarial relationship between Vogue’s Editor-In-Chief Anna (the bobbed) and her longtime “friend” and Vogue’s Creative Director Grace Coddington (the gingered)…

… and how much they f***king hate one another’s guts.  No, really, it’s like served on a plate how much they’ve grown to despise one another.  Grace is the creative artist; Anna is the manager.  Totally opposite personalities.  NEGATIVE WORKING ENVIRONMENT.  Alright, ANYWHO…

One big difference they have is how they feel about what constitutes beautiful imagery.  Anna likes huge pops of color and clarity.  I can totally ride that train; you guys know how much my life revolves around color pops.  They are delicious, those color pops.  But Grace is a lover of story and softness; picture intense set styling and soft, Barbara-Walters-esque washes over them.  A touch of fairy dust and clouds from heaven, in each and every image.  That’s Grace’s thang.  And I can ride that train, too, all the way to the market.

Segueing (not as seamlessly as I’d hoped but whatevs) into this wedding submission by Gemmer Photography that we’ve got for your faces today…

I strongly believe that these deeply soft, fairy dust sprinkled images would change even the firmly made up mind of Anna Wintour.  They’re simply that gorgeous, and make my heart go all aflutter when I look at them.  Especially those ever-popular “An Education” styled shots of bride and groom head to head on the ground.  Soooooo beautiful.

Some words from Heather of Gemmer Photography:

Kate and James are a famously sweet couple! this bride followed her then-boyfriend to city after city as he pursued his soccer coaching career! his father is the soccer coach of notre dame university, and this young man is well advancing in his father’s footsteps! the groom and his family are from scotland, so their thick accents were such a joy to hear on the wedding day! a classy wedding with touches of DIY elements! a {stunning} wintry wedding day. the father of the bride made all of the decorations at the ceremony site, and gemmer photography spoke with bride and came up with the design elements in the tree where family portraits were taken. the resort at the mountain was awesome to work with…the staff were incredible and pristinely professional! becca was her wedding planner for the day, and she was amazing to work with!

And a rundown of her wedding day from Kate, our beautiful bride:

I tried to have not just a meaningful wedding day, but also a meaningful depth to my wedding planning.  I did most all of the wedding planning myself and elicited the help of many talented and wonderful people that had great gifts to share.   I tried to find artists and vendors that were fun to work with, passionate about their work, and excited to share their talents with us. I started by designing my wedding invitation with a local independent artist, Rachael Driscoll. Spending that time thinking about the invitation helped me visualize the overall color scheme {plum & ivory & black} and theme to our wedding, which was a wintry mountain escape. I was able to utilize ETSY to find other local artists to design my wedding dress accents, hair fascinator, and shoe accessories.

My dad designed our wedding arch and lighting for the ceremony which was very meaningful to me.  He was able to construct an arch with willow branches and other tree limbs and twinkly lights. It was great to have something homemade and meaningful from my dad as the backdrop to my ceremony.

One tip for wedding planning that I found was helpful was that if I didn’t really care about a particular aspect of the wedding planning, I found something that worked, booked it, and moved on.  For example, I wasn’t that passionate about cake/dessert. So, I asked my sister for a recommendation, found it was within our budget and went for it.  By not shopping around with too many options, you never know what would/could have been and you just enjoy it for what it was.  And, I thought our cake was great! Another great decision we made was the venue we chose! Choosing a venue with an on site wedding coordinator for the day of the wedding was invaluable. Our photographers were crazy about her! She made the whole day run so smoothly, and made the job for our photographers even easier.

↑ Le freaking SIGH, you guys.  SUCH pretty styling. ↑

See that shot, above?  That shot that was inspired by the movie “An Education” – it’s one of the prettiest trends in wedding and engagement photography going on right now, and methinks it’ll be around quite a long time.  I mean, JUST FREAKING LOOK AT IT?  How perfectly perfect!!!!

I’m a little obsessed… so I’m gonna go ahead and overkill it with way too many of this shot; bear with :)

This may be weird, but this is TOTES my favorite part, mainly due to that center image…

… Because, I mean, come on.  How great is that.

By the way, as always, I LOVE it when a couple takes a cute, creative shot for the Thank You Notes post-wedding.  ALWAYS a superb, adorable idea…

… I highly recommend it!

Ok, so, thoughts?  Do you dig soft, ethereal imagery like I do?  And, in turn, do you dig this wedding? :)

In other news, have you ever worked with someone who you just *did not* get on too well with?  Would love to hear your Anna/Grace story.

xoxo!  – Alison

Photography: Gemmer Photography / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / Hair Stylist: Carpe Diem Salon / Floral Designer: Francoise Weeks Florist / Reception Venue: The Resort at The Mountain / Invitation Designer: good morning dove / Dress Store: Ania Bridal Other: becca kolibaba / Cake Designer: Le Cookie Monkey / DJ: perfect memory / Makeup Artist: Kim King Makeup

Label(s): Color, Red, White, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Marie @ Emici Bridal on July 18, 2011

    Ultra sweet. I want to know if there is a story behind the quilt they are pictured with. Family piece? :)

  2. Sarah on July 18, 2011

    So I can step into these photos and become soft and beautiful and slightly olde-worldey now, right?

  3. Kristen on July 18, 2011

    Love the cake. Oh, and I just put The September Issue on my Netflix. I think I’ll take a gander at it while my kiddo is over at his dad’s.

  4. Alison on July 18, 2011

    Marie – I’m curious, too! Gonna have to check into that one, sistafriend.

    Sarah – Oh absolutely! I’m sure a hallucinogenic drug of your choice would facilitate that right up for ya. ;)

    Kristen – Nice! I look forward to hearing what you thought of it!

  5. Jessica on July 18, 2011

    I think the soft, dreamy, fairyland style works if that’s the style of the wedding and/or couple. Like this definitely works for the wedding here. But I do think that a more crisp style works for some settings.

  6. eric boneske on July 18, 2011

    Just saw this documentary last week- very interesting look into the industry… A few times I swear I saw Hansel or Mugatu in the background.. Regardless.. I kept finding myself siding with Grace when it came to style decisions- but Anna is pretty Badd A$$ when it comes down to it..

    Oh, and great shots on the post today too!

  7. Shayna Marie on July 18, 2011

    Loved that documentary! I’ve definitely had to work with a boss that was horrid! one who always gave lists and said do this do that and get it done asap. then when you accomplish everything they turn to you and say hmm…I actually don’t like it I need you to change it to *hands another 4 page list* this! how do you please someone who is extremely opinionated and isn’t willing to get off their butt to do anything! poor grace, but at the same time she needs to speak up!

  8. Alison on July 18, 2011

    Jessica – Right on point, you are. It’s so important for the couple to work with wedding photographer(s) who totes match up with what they believe their style to be. Everybody’s different :) That’s what makes the wedding world go round, and what makes me like it all the more :)

    Eric – LOLOLOL. It took me a few seconds to get that Zoolander reference. Beautiful, Eric. :)

    Shayna Marie – hiya new commenter! :) OMG I think so many of us have been there. It’s rare I meet someone who hasn’t dealt with a boss like that. How do you please someone like that? Well, I do have *my* answer… you stop working for them ;) xx!

  9. kate on July 18, 2011

    this wedding is GORGEOUS! my favorite is the ‘wedded bliss’ letters..adorable!

  10. Elle on July 18, 2011

    I love Anna Wintour… She has retained this old world glamour about the whole industry. I prefer crisp photographs as opposed to “soft” images. I think the softened images that I like include softened depth of field and sharp focal points. Regardless, the wedding above is super adorable!

  11. Lena on July 18, 2011

    Because my comments now ALWAYS seem to include several points….

    1) was the documentary you wanted on birthing “The Business of Being Born”?!?!? Because HOLY SHIT. If it was not, clearly it’s another to add to the queue.

    2) The September Issue nearly broke my heart. Grace is loveliness and light and fairy dust, and Anna is spreadsheets and ad revenue. Obviously the world needs both things, but you just want them to come together and be giggly besties instead of arch rivals.

    3) THIS WEDDING. Love “The Education” shot. Clearly we all have both the streaming and DVD subscriptions to Netflix.

    4) Where is Bambino in all this heaven? I trust he’ll make an appearance tomorrow? We’ve had a puppy at the office, so I’m ok for now, but there’s no telling what I might do later in the week…

    5) I’ve been drinking. No, really.

  12. Alison on July 18, 2011

    Kate – Aren’t those letters adorable?!!! Oh right, that’s what you said. :) TOTES AGREE!!!!!

    Elle – Love the way you write, amazing perspective! I can get on board with that :)

    Lena – LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLLOOL my darling. The way you weave your funny together is astoundingly poetic. Almost Ames-esquey poetic. But better and less dumped. Ashley would keep you!

  13. Andrea on July 18, 2011

    LOOOVEEEEEE this wedding for a bunch of reasons! First of all the bunting and tree garland elements – they’re just so dreamy and romantic and make for crazy good photos. Second, the cake, which is so simple and perfect! And what she said about deciding on her cake, etc is so smart. I wish I had that strength to just decide and move onto the next! It’s so hard to be sure when there are just so many great options out there!

    Last thing– my favorite aspect is that her dad made their ceremony backdrop. My dad’s making ours so we have that in common. I’m dyyyying to see how it turns out, it makes me cry thinking about how lucky I am to have a dad who wants to do this!!!!!!!

  14. Katy on July 18, 2011

    LOVE the word bubbles! Hmm… getting married in three weeks. Too late to implement?? I think not! I’m definitely going to try! Thanks so much for posting!

  15. Caroline on July 19, 2011

    Um yes major sucker for soft glowing romantic want to swoon shots. and also for sisterwives!! haha that made me day big time

  16. heather gemmer on July 19, 2011

    ahh…you have! what a bright and beautiful thing to wake up to! my name is heather, and i (along with my bearded husband) make up gemmer photography. and we….are honored that you are sharing in our love of both this couple, this wedding, and our ‘style’!
    i’ve most definitely added that movie to my netflix queue, and i’ve also watched ‘the business of being born’ and was blown out of my mind! {smile}.
    i’ve been a wedding photographer for just about 7 years now, and i’ve evolved and changed my ‘style’ a lot over the years. i feel like in the last 7 years, the first 6 years i was a teenager…flitting to and fro with what would strike my fancy from one day to the next. and then…..2011 happened {smile}. really, it was nothing big, but i feel like i’ve become the woman i always wanted to be…the dreamer and romantic i always was, and the artist that was a part of my soul since i was born! and….that is why my {thang} is anything soft, ethereal, feminine, dreamy, and whimsical. simply. because. it. makes. my. soul. quiver. {smile} i’m also careful to brand myself well, so that the people who love {this} style are paired with us. because, certainly i can appreciate a crisp, bright photograph!!
    i think that i will forever be and have always been….a {Grace}.

    thank you once again for all of the {sweet} comments. i’m so honored, humbled, and grateful!
    about those quilted letters….a dear friend of mine makes them with her mother on etsy! check her out at, and mention my name {smile}. she’ll be so thrilled! her name is {boomin’ granny}. she’ll melt your heart with her sweetness! promise!
    and…about that quilt. it was a quilt purchased from an sweet old lady at an estate sale. she told me a story of her kids picnicing on it in the deep south {smile}, and i fell in love with the stories and secrets and memories that i’ll perhaps never know that are all wrapped up in this quilt from the 1900′s!

    ah…alas, i will stop talking {smile}. thank you once again. you are kind beyond words!

  17. Mimi Tilton on July 19, 2011

    As a self-proclaimed afficionado of all things mountainous and rainy, j’ador! I have a firm belief in the opposite ‘accpeted’ thought: it is a blessing from God when it rains on your wedding day. I was brought up to believe (and do so into adult-hood) that rain on your joyous day is God crying His tears of joy at how you’ve followed His plan. Toomuchmush? ??? ???
    Wintour’s choices in life are but a sampling of her core self. We live and die with our day-to-day choices in who we wish to be. I feel sad for her chill; that is my choice. That she and Grace (and isn’t it funny their names match their outward selves) are opposites are what make Vogue the always go-to magazine for iconic fashion. Myself… I’m fine with the Sunday Target ads…but whateves….

  18. Theresa on July 19, 2011

    That documentary kicked ass!

    The images above are beautiful. I’m kind of torn between super colorful/crisp images and that dreamy style of wedding photography that is all the rage now.

    Wouldn’t it be super cool if you could afford 2 different photographers for the day, one in each style?!

  19. erin * sparkleandhay on July 19, 2011

    oh my gorgeous bridal hair & yes i love those photos!!!!

    p.s. that might be the best use of bunting/garlands i have EVER seen!!!

  20. The colouring on these photos is gorgeous… I love the hazy, muted effect. Plus that first photo? I think I’m in love!

  21. kate on July 22, 2011

    thanks for posting the etsy seller. i am buying some of those quilted letters right now, i LOVE them!

  22. carpe diem salon: roze nguyen stylist on July 27, 2011

    Yah for gorgeous hair! Kate was so wonderful to work with. So naturally at ease and it shows in the pics. Im so happy her hair helped showcase what a beautiful bride she was.

    My name is _roze… and I had the the pleasure of styling Kate’s hair for her amazing wedding. I’ve been in the beauty biz for over 15 years and wedding styles are one of my specialties. You can catch me at Carpe Diem Salon and Spa located in cute SE Sellwood Portland or

    To gooder hair!

  23. Marie Summers on July 27, 2011

    Can’t get over her bridal hair and makeup!! GORGEOUS.

  24. Our Wedding Hub on August 16, 2011

    Really love that photo at the top of the page

  25. Eve Maria on September 11, 2011

    I love that colouring! It reminds me of Wuthering Heights, which, let’s face it, is so romantic!

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