The Small Businesses Behind Our Turkish Wedding
I want to take some time to give a shoutout to all the wonderful vendors and small business owners of Izmir, Turkey who helped us have a great wedding weekend! We found most of our vendors through instagram - I was so happy with how easy it was to find people using #izmirwedding #izmirweddingphotography #izmirweddingdress or #izmirçiçek. We really were not sure how planning a wedding begins and for me, being a foreigner in Turkey, I had to be flexible and open to new ideas that I hadn't previously considered.
Through the help of instagram, Zola.com (for our wedding registry) and wix.com (for our wedding website) - we were able to organize and structure our wedding. Mostly, we wanted to take care of our guests because their love and support mean so much to us. Our priority was to see people enjoy themselves, dance, laugh and be treated to a fun evening!
If you find yourself planning a wedding in Izmir or in a foreign country, I hope you feel encouraged to know it is possible, not easy, to achieve the wedding of your dreams! Below you can find a description of our experience working with each of our vendors and then some beautiful pictures of their craft! Miel Cake Butik
We stumbled upon Miell Butik because of the beautiful cakes they posted on instagram and their proximity to our home. This boutique cake shop is run by an adorable husband and wife team. They recently opened their physical space in Bornova, Izmir. They totally captured our vision and guided us through the process. We were able to come in a month before the wedding for a tasting and ended up choosing a delicious banana-strawberry cream filled cake. We really wanted to use olive branches from our family land to achieve a natural-inspired cake but they also do all kinds of designs for all types of events!
Elif Sezer Flowers
Elif has her own studio space tucked away on the top floor of an apartment building in Buca, Izmir. She and her sister are both such artists and visionaries. Not only did they make the bouquets, table arrangements and floral-wooden overhang for the reception, this dynamic sister-duo also created two flower crowns for my flower girls. A few days before the wedding, we went to my husband's hometown to forage and gather olive branches, pampas grass and other greenery. We delivered them to Elif and she worked her magic. In the pictures below, you can see many of the floral details in the church such as the greenery lining the pews and the arch decor at the altar. They spent countless hours decorating and planning for this job. Elif and her team absolutely blew us away with their talent and capability!
Le Kula Make-Up/Hair
Finding Elena was such a blessing! From the start, when I told her that I had 13 bridesmaids and they all want hair and make up, she was excited and optimistic! We had a make up trial, where she invited me to her studio and we were able to get to know each other. She was professional and assured me that the timeline would work perfectly. She gathered a small team that were so full of joy - my bridesmaids felt so empowered and beautiful! Because I had two days of events, Elena showed up again the second morning just to make me feel like a queen! I was so happy with her care, knowledge, professionalism and optimism.
Salih and I met Meltem in April of 2019; she was recommended to me by a friend and soon-to-be-bride. I came in with a design in mind and she showed me some of the dresses she made in the past. She then sat down with a pencil and paper and sketched out the design I explained. After picking out the style of lace and then taking my measurements, she started making the dress. Three appointments later, the dress was complete! For me, this was ideal because trying on dress after dress is not my cup of tea. Because Turkey is a textile-rich nation, custom made dresses are much more common and affordable. Meltem even sewed in a piece of my mother's and grandmother's wedding dress into the skirt of my dress. It was so sweet and sentimental to know that I had that memory from their wedding day embedded in my dress.
Located in our neighborhood, I have always loved the secret-garden feel of Villa Levante boutique hotel. Throughout the entire process, the staff treated us with such kindness, flexibility and accommodation! With the help of the staff we were able to feel at ease on the wedding day. They created a speciality cocktail for us, kept us nourished at all times, made an emergency flower delivery and allowed us to feel like we were their sole priority.
We first heard this brother and sister duo playing at Buenas Bistro & Lounge (@buenasbistrolounge) in Bornova. Salih and I immediately noticed their soulful and creative musical style. They cover many popular songs and have a wide range of genres represented - from the Narco's soundtrack to Oasis. We were able to hear them a couple more times performing at @republicizmir and knew we had to book them. They were willing to sit down with us and craft our own custom wedding playlist. At the wedding, the guests were totally enjoying their talent, skill and joy. We were so grateful to have them with us!
All the photos in this blog post were captured by the incredibly talented Mads of Madly Weddings. She is dear friend from Boston and she flew out to Turkey to be with us for wedding week. Not only is she incredibly talented and an extremely hard worker, she really helped Salih and I to feel comfortable in front of the camera. We were so happy to have her by our side in this process and just to be clear, she is available to do weddings all around the world! Below is a photo Mads captured from the Turkish Village Wedding Ceremony.
Questions about how this all came together? I am happy to help! Thank you for reading and don't forget to subscribe to the blog!