Etsy blog editor-in-chief Vanessa Bertozzi and illustrator and designer Mickey Duzyj wanted a wedding that expressed a celebratory nature and the exuberance they were feeling about becoming a married couple. Inspired by the intense geometric patterns of traditional Ukrainian folk art and influenced by the hues of summer's fresh flowers, they created a vibrant, meaningful wedding.
Mickey designed a small comic-strip-style wedding invitation, illustrating a brief history of how the couple met and fell in love, as well as what guests could expect at the wedding. With a color palette of navy and yellow, the stationery also featured a perforated reply card for guests to rip off and return.
Tagged with the wedding's slogan, Romance in Rehoboth, the paper fans served as both ceremony programs and table-assignment cards. Vanessa came up with "Romance in Rehoboth" to help anchor the program. It reminded her of old movies' opening-credit montages and added a touch of humor. Guests picked up their individual fans when they arrived at the ceremony.
Goff Hall, located in Rehoboth village, houses the local library and the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society. It used to be the town theater, and when she was in high school, Vanessa acted in a production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in the same venue. Goff Hall graciously agreed to host the ceremony, which was officiated by Vanessa's former roommate, Mara Dowdall, who is now a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Through a friend's referral, Mickey worked with jeweler David Sachs to create Vanessa's engagement ring. Vanessa loves antique jewelry, and many of her favorite pieces were handed down to her from her mother and grandmother. Mickey's initial drawing combined a few elements Vanessa liked, and he worked with David to choose the stones and perfect the setting. Vanessa loved her ring so much that she wanted to design Mickey's wedding band in return; she worked with David to create a ring with a wreath of laurels and the engraving "You Win -- August 23, 2008" inside.
Through a series of coincidences, Vanessa's mother befriended a Rhode Island collector of classic cars who specializes in vehicles previously owned by celebrities. He kindly offered to loan Frank Sinatra's former white Rolls Royce. The owner himself drove the couple on their wedding day and shared over-the-top stories about Sinatra and his Rat Pack friends, and their escapades on the streets of Hollywood.
Vanessa's sister-in-law, Kim, hosted a crafting night before the wedding and brought along a button maker Vanessa, Kim, and the party guests made a series of personalized buttons. Some of them had messages about Vanessa and Mickey, some had hearts drawn by their niece Sabina, and some had motifs designed by Mickey for the wedding. Kim also wrote "I Love You" in many different languages for some of the buttons (including "Mena Tanda Wena," in Zulu). The 500 buttons were scattered around the tables at the wedding for guests to wear and keep as mementos.
In honor of Mickey's grandfather and his trademark neckwear, the groom and his groomsmen donned orange and navy bow ties. Mickey's New York City tailor asked him to pick the wool and liner fabric for his custom suit; Mickey decided to stay within the yellow and navy palette of the stationery suite. He then faced -- and overcame -- the challenge of finding yellow socks.
Vanessa knew nothing about dressmaking, but she did some "Frankenstein-esque" Photoshop work using a photo of a dress Rita Hayworth wore and the details of some other dresses she found online. Brooklyn-based designer Minna Kao took the composite and made her dress from there. Additionally, Vanessa wanted to incorporate some white-on-white Ukrainian embroidery, but finding someone in New York that still knew how to do the traditional craft was difficult. After a bit of a wild goose chase, she met an 85-year-old Ukrainian woman who lives in New Jersey and hired her to embroider the pieces attached to the train. Vanessa's purse was from the Brooklyn Flea Market.
Not wanting to put her bridesmaids (her two sisters and Mickey's two sisters) into dresses they'd never wear again, Vanessa came up with a novel idea. She'd had her eye on 1950s-inspired dresses with poofy, embroidered petticoats from Etsy seller MissBrache, Inc. Custom Clothing. They worked together to create reversible dresses.
In the Ukrainian community where Mickey grew up, it was customary for kids and teenagers to perform in a Ukrainian dance group. Mickey danced for about eight years and still jumps in occasionally at Ukrainian weddings (where a traditional dance called the hopak is done in celebration of the bride and groom). At the ceremony, Mickey's uncle played a few traditional Ukrainian waltzes and the wedding march on the accordion. At the reception, Mickey coordinated the hopak with him and with his family members, and tried his best to keep it a secret from Vanessa.
Photographer: Dave Robbins
Beads for Bride's Headpiece and All Boutonnieres: Sleeping Dog Studio
Bride's Dress: Minna Kao
Bride's Earrings: JustJaynes
Flower Girl's Dress: rubypearl
Custom Doggie Ring Bearer Suit: Furkid Fever
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Miss Brache, Inc. Custom Clothing
Manicures: Facing Thayer
Bouquets: Secret Garden Blooms
Centerpiece Flowers: Four Town Farm
Button-Making Supplies: Tecre
Catering: Summer Shack
Liquor: townwineandspirits.com and Yankee Spirits, (508) 399-5860
Tent Rental: New England Tent
Invitations and Fans: mickeyduzyj.com
Wedding Rings: David Sachs