Erica & Ben’s Navy Blue and Hot Pink Flag-themed Flag Day Wedding


flag day wedding

Welcome to another week of funky wedding inspiration friends! Erica is in theater and Ben is a scientist. Their wedding was held on Flag Day this year and I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you because I know you will LOVE how they incorporated loving, meaningful touches into each and every handmade detail. Everything, from the ceremony readings to the fun hot pink + navy-hued DIY elements had reason behind them which of course allowed the couple to put a distinct stamp on their celebration. There were also pennants and flags everywhere for that unmistakable Flag Day feel.

We have Lauren Wagner via Jennifer Shaffer Photography to thank for the beautiful photos. Please enjoy!

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

From here on the lovely Erica will guide you through the details of their whimsical celebration… over to you Erica!

Our wedding from start to finish was custom made just for us by us down to the gifts we purchased for each other. I bought my husband meteorite cufflinks, he’s a scientist, and he bought me an antique necklace. We custom made each of the center piece flags and found pictures of both of us through the years to place on each table. There was navy blue and hot pink everywhere and there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that this was a Flag Day wedding.

flag day wedding

We really wanted to keep the flag day theme from beginning to end. Our Save the dates, wedding invitations, and décor had flags and pennants everywhere. We also had a whimsical woodland fairy tale kind of feel to the day. The ceremony program was designed to match our wedding invitations and literally talked our guests through the ceremony in slightly humorous and casual way. I wrote the program too of course.

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

Having unique special touches were very important to Ben and myself. I wrote our entire ceremony from beginning to end. I work in theatre and direct Children’s shows so I wanted to be very involved. We had our good friend Matt as our Officiant (the same friend that married our best friends who now got to be our Best Man and Matron of Honor). We had our good friends Daniel and Patrick (local Chicago actors and musicians) play and sing at our wedding. We picked a poem that J.R.R. Tolkein (the author of Lord of the Rings) wrote for his wife, Ben loves Lord of the Rings, and had Ben’s cousin read it.

The second reading was an adaptation of Dr. Seuss Oh the Places You’ll Go, which was special to me because I’m a Drama Teacher to young children and have used this piece many times in children’s shows I direct. My good friend Mark (another local Chicago Actor) read this reading.

flag day wedding

I  had my grandmother’s ring included in my bouquet so she could be a part of the wedding even though she is no longer with us, we were very close. We also had a unity tree that including carafes of dirt from each of our parent’s homes to pour into the base of the tree. This was to symbolize our growth moving forward as a couple.

flag day wedding

We handmade Yay flags for people to wave at the end of the ceremony instead of blowing bubbles or throwing rice.

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

We wanted to have a ton of fun on our wedding day and really wanted all the details to be captured. One of my bridesmaids found hot pink sunglasses for all the girls in the wedding party to wear so we had to have a picture of that. We also wanted a unique picture of us and our best friends, who introduced us, showcasing our wedding rings.

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

Ben decided that he didn’t want to wear uncomfortable shoes all day so he opted for custom Nikes complete with hot pink accents and the wedding date written on the back of the shoes. He also had all of his groomsmen wear gym shoes as well. My bridesmaids and I opted for hot pink heels and clutches. I changed into hot pink flip flops that read my new name and the wedding date.

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

We had a wood carved bird house with a mini cards banner for our wishing well or card box.  Our Best Man and Best Friend Steve drew us a beautiful guest book tree on a giant 40 x 40 canvas. Our guests were able to “leaf” their finger print on our tree and now we have a beautiful piece for our new home. My husband also had a grooms cake, which is very popular with his Southern Illinois family, of a Horde symbol from the game World of Warcraft.

We also opted out of the clinking glasses during dinner and asked our guests to instead place a donation of any amount in a large vase near the head table. We gave the donations, as well as making a donation ourselves in lieu of favors, to Child’s Play. Child’s Play is an organization that donates games to sick children. This organization fits myself and my husband perfectly as Ben loves video games and I love children. We raised over $300!

flag day wedding

We hand made all of the center piece flags and themed each table to match a picture of ourselves. Some examples are: Baby Erica, Baby Benjamin, Dating, Our First Place, Engaged… We also made mini escort flags instead of escort cards to go with our theme. Ben’s Dad helped build planters to hold these flags and also spray painted all of our center piece frames navy blue and hot pink to match our theme colors.

We also felt that it was important to celebrate the beautiful and successful marriages of our parents and grandparents, so we placed pictures from each of their weddings on our escort card table.

flag day wedding

flag day wedding

My husband and I are not Jewish but we did do the Horah at our wedding because my Best Friend Jill, who is Jewish, and her husband decided it was an appropriate wedding celebration dance. We told our DJ that the Horah could only be played if 10 or more people requested it. Jill got my other bridesmaid Beth, who happens to be Jewish as well, and all of our theatre friends to request the Horah and so it happened.

We also had a photo booth complete with silly props which made the evening very fun. We even requested that the bar be stocked with Mountain Dew because my husband doesn’t drink and I wanted him to have a drink of choice too.

flag day wedding

Partings insights from the adorable couple:

The best thing about all of the DIY projects we did for the wedding is that we get to use pieces like the vase for the donations, the potters for the escort flags, our unity tree, or our guest finger print tree in our new home. It’s a nice reminder of our special day and the special loved ones in our lives.

flag day wedding

Thank you Lauren for sending your lovely photos of this super fun wedding my way, and congratulations Erica and Ben! I wish you guys a blissful life together. 🙂

Photographer: Jennifer Shaffer Photography
Venue / Caterer: Silver Lake Country Club, Orland Park, IL
Cake/Dessert vendor: Le Sucre Cakes Niles, IL
Florist: Katula’s Thanks A Bunch Matteson, IL
DJ/Band: Rolling Sounds Entertainment Tinley Park, IL
Event Planner: Erica Petro with the assistants of Janene Zieler and Amy Grace Coghill of Silver Lake Country Club
Wedding Dress Designer: Galina (David’s Bridal)
Bridesmaids Dress Designer/s: Barry Jay
Groom’s attire Designer: Calvin Klein
Groomsmen’s attire Designer: Calvin Klein

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