An affinity for old books and a lifetime of heartfelt memories played into much of Lauren and Julius’s vintage inspired wedding at The Twentieth Century Club. With a soft color palette of ivory, gold, champagne, navy, and sage green, the couple designed a day that was one part throwback and one part classic. From getting married in front of the Carnegie Library in Schenley Plaza, to using antique books in the centerpieces, to “naming” the tables after various literary quotes about love, a subtile vintage library theme was woven throughout the day. Very apropos for these two self-proclaimed avid readers! They even used bookmarks as escort cards, thanks to some craftiness from Loree Mayer Design, and placed them in old, repurposed card catalogue drawers. Velvet settees and antique furniture from Vintage Alley Rentals, salvaged brass candlesticks, and thrift store-found gold frames rounded out the decor. As a tribute to her late grandmother, Lauren even wore her 1947 satin and pearl headpiece, and fashioned her own wedding dress after her grandmother’s using four separate pieces from Bridal Beginning. Take a page out of Lauren and Julius’s book and allow these images from Levana Melamed Photography to inspire your own big day!
About the Couple
We met our first semester of graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. We had two classes together and were basically eyeing each other up. At the end of the semester, our classmates all went out to celebrate. At one point, he came up to me and told me he thought I was cute. I was seeing someone at the time, so I dodged his advances. The summer came around and we both found ourselves single. We started dating and broke up. Summer came again, and we tried dating again, and again it didn’t work out. Fast forward to almost two years later when he texted me out of the blue. A day later, we had dinner, talked for over four hours, and have been together ever since. Long story short: third time’s a charm!
For my 30th birthday, he took me to Phipps for the Spring Flower Show. While walking around, he kept asking me what my favorite room was. Being someone who answers “rainbow” when asked what my favorite color is, my response was “I like them all in different ways.” I had brought my camera with me that day to take some shots for a photography class I was taking. His questions made me suspicious, and I kind of knew what was coming. When we got to the very last room possible, he asked a random man to take our picture with my camera. Funny enough and totally unplanned, this man actually was a professional photographer! He started snapping away, and all of a sudden, Julius is down on one knee, proposing.
About the Wedding
Our colors were ivory, gold/champagne, and navy and our theme was classic, vintage library. My husband and I are both avid readers and have an obscene amount of vintage books. Because we met at Pitt and were having our ceremony in front of the Carnegie Library in Schenley Plaza, I knew I wanted to incorporate our books. On each table at the reception, I placed three books as the base for each flower vase. I chose a quote about love from one book on each table. For place cards, I had book marks made that had each guest’s name and table number on one side, and the love quote from the corresponding book on the other side. I found some vintage library card catalogue drawers to hold the place cards. I also spent months collecting brass bud vases to use on the tables, as well as vintage gold frames to hold family photos and signs.
Our ceremony site in Schenley Plaza has a lot of meaning for us. I first realized I loved Julius one night in graduate school when we sat beneath the same trees where we ended up being married. That night, he comforted me when I told him about my grandmother, who was starting to slowly deteriorate with Alzheimer’s. I always knew I wanted to be married outside under trees, and I think this location is breathtakingly beautiful.
Aside from getting to ride the Schenley Plaza carousel for free and by ourselves, I’d have to say it was walking to and from our ceremony. A week or two before the day of our wedding, there was an anti-war protest planned. When we initially heard about it, we wanted to make sure it wouldn’t interrupt our ceremony (and kind of wanted to join it ourselves…). My husband, who basically is the best, reached out to the organizers of the protest to see what they were planning. They told us not to worry and that they wouldn’t be near our ceremony at the planned time. When it came to the day, we passed the protestors marching and cheered each other on to “choose love, not war!” So many people, police included, wished us well and many congratulations. Also favorite: when college girls bought me shots and fawned over me at Hemingway’s bar at the wedding after party.