Sunday, January 05, 2014

My Croatian Wedding at James P. Davis Hall part 1

Hello friends and family!  My mom has been pestering me about updating the blog with pictures from my wedding on October 13, 2013.  It was at James P. Davis Hall at Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City.  James P. Davis Hall had special meaning to my family, as my grandfather helped build it in the 1930s.  It was a WPA project and it really is a fantastic spot to get married.  I had hoped by mid October that the leaves would have changed more for a 'Fall' wedding theme, but alas it didn't happen until the next weekend as we had a late fall.  I had to reserve the hall a year in advance and put my name into a lottery.  Since I was in Korea at the time, my mom and brother scooted their butts out to the Parks and Rec offices off State Ave at 8 am on Friday for the drawing.  My mom said there were 15 other brides there to put their names in the cup for Saturday the 12th.  Obviously, I did not get chosen, but I was able to secure the hall for Sunday, which created an entire 'Wedding Weekend'.  We rented a shelter house for a pre-wedding picnic on Saturday the 12th, so all of our out of town guests could get together.  The shelter houses only cost $40 for the day, and we cooked hot dogs, tofu dogs and brats.  Everyone loved the weekend.  So lets move onto the day of the wedding.

I had a lot of problems looking for photos of James P. Davis when I was researching my wedding. So I thought I'd upload some for other brides.  My photos were done by Parigo Studios.  Brandon was completely awesome and so was Nicole.  Everyone LOVES the photos, so I would always suggest putting aside a larger budget for photography.  After all, what do you really remember about the wedding day, other than being nervous?  Great job, Parigos!

James P. Davis Hall and Decor - My mother and I did this wedding ourselves.  We had a little help setting up from friends and family.  The cake table and entrance table was decorated by my friend Katherine.  The hall was decorated with all of the elements and chachkis from my mom and myself.  My colors were rosemary green and ivory.  I wanted to use hedge apples, white pumpkins, and green apples.  My mom hired two ladies to help us decorate in the morning before the wedding.  They were local part time decorators from her neighborhood.  They were very good at seeing the vision we had and implementing all the pieces we brought.  It was a little vintage and rustic at the same time.
James P. Davis Hall
Centerpieces were a mix of cylinders, lanterns and fish bowls I purchased at Upcycle Weddings, a resale shop located in the Bottoms of Kansas City.  They are only open the first weekend of every month.
 My friends from Peace Corps put together the back drop.  I sewed circle garlands for weeks up to the wedding!  The pennants I ordered from The and they were really cheap.  I got the idea from Lady Mary's wedding on Downton Abby!
 My friend Amber has an antique book store in St. Louis.  She made the flower garlands out of some old books and music sheets.  The apples were a croatian theme I threw in, and the pumpkins I picked at a pumpkin patch which sold them per pound.  I spent all morning in the muck trapsing around a muddy field filling up wheelbarrows with all types of white and green pumpkins and gourds.  It was worth the cheap price!  And everyone loved taking them home as gifts!

My friend Kristin designed the menu cards and food cards.  It was a last minute idea to place pics in the apples.  I had name card stands, but they kept falling over.  Thank goodness I bought emergency pics from Michael's for only $7!  Good thing I had extra apples, too!
 This is Amber and me in the smaller room of James P. Davis.  We used this room as the buffet, cake, and overflow room.  Just in case the weather was bad, we were going to also use it as the ceremony room!  I was working all day and ended up cleaning afterward.  A bride's work is never done.  Especially the DIY bride!  I was up at 5 am and went to bed at 3 am!
Pumpkins from Johnsons Farm off Holmes Rd.  They were $25/lb!  CHEAP!  We also bought the beautiful mums that decorated the hall!  They were white and green!  My colors!
 This is the entrance/guest table Katherine made.  She made a wishing tree instead of the traditional guest book.  I DID have a guest book I made for free on Shutterfly.  People were able to look at photos of Anthony and me, and they could sign their name if they wanted.  It was really cool to have both.  You can kind of see the wedding wands I spent months making.  They were the bane of my existence.  If you want to make 100 wedding wands for your wedding - don't .  Order them!  They may be more expensive, but less of a headache!
 You can also see the cut rosemary we gave to each guest.  This is a Croatian tradition that was initially thought to ward off evil spirits.  I purchased extra rosemary from my florist, cut them up into sprigs, and used straight pins (with rubber earring stoppers from Hobby Lobby) to give to each guest in honor of this tradition.  Let's just say it smelled AWESOME at James P. Davis!
This is me getting ready in the cloak room.  I brought an old shower curtain to close off the space when people started arriving.  This was where we all got ready, and since you can't use nails to hang things up, we brought massive amounts of 3M hooks.
Katherine made this to hang above the cake table.  It was awesome.  Below is the topper I found for my cake at an antique store for $10.  Katherine hand sugared the apples, and my florist sent extra flowers just for my cake!  It looked amazing.  I got the naked cake at the local grocery store, HyVee.  They did a great job at adding the flowers, apples, and cake topper!
The pennants brought the eye up to the beautiful ceiling, and brightened up dark wooden interior.
This is Anthony playing his banjo while waiting for the ceremony.  He was very nervous.
All the pinecones were collected from my mom's yard, and all the hedge apples were collected from a beautiful Osage Orange tree in my Peace Corps friend's back yard.  They let me pick bags and bags of them.  We had too many, so we just chucked them over the side of the patio, near the lake!  Maybe James P. Davis will have Osage Orange trees in 20 years!
 At the cake table, we had home made povitica, puhance, and the naked cake which was pumpkin, spice, and apple.  It was FANTASTIC!
I'll do another post about the Croatian parts of my wedding.  Keep checking back!  If anyone has any questions on where I got stuff, let me know!  I bought all of the linens and chargers.  I ended up selling them on Craig's List, so I seriously suggest looking for great deals if you are a DIY bride!  It was so much cheaper than renting!


nisha said...

Hey! Your wedding looks absolutely gorgeous! I'm thinking about using the same venue for my wedding in August and I was wondering if you could answer a couple of quick questions. Love your blog... it's great! Also love all the PC references. I'm a RPCV too!! Thanks!!!

locomocos said...

Sorry Nisha! I just saw this comment and your day is coming up soon! I'm sure you've got everything under control by now - so once again I apologize for the late response! If you have any questions, email me at