When I found out Melissa and Robert’s wedding was going to be Michigan themed, I could easily relate, as my own wedding was very much Vermont themed, but at the same time I was apprehensive about how I could best translate the state of Michigan into a pair of shoes. Noting that their venue, the charming Stafford’s Bay View Inn, was built in 1886, I started scouring eBay for vintage Michigan items that might speak to this bygone era and give me a tangible state themed element to repurpose.
The best options that I found were a few nice Michigan state map handkerchiefs, mostly produced by a company called Franshaw, probably in the 1940’s and 1950’s, when it was popular to bring such souvenir linens home from vacation. I thought this particular hankie (shown above) was perfect because it’s combination of white, blue and pretty apple blossoms (the Michigan state flower) felt very bridal. The only problem was Melissa’s color scheme for her wedding featured a plum-colored purple, not pink.
In keeping with my ethos of ultimate customization, I gathered an arsenal of fabric paints and fabric markers and hand-colored every spot of pink on the handkerchief over in purple to match my Plum reference swatch of David’s Bridal satin, as per the bridesmaid’s dresses. Of course I felt a twinge of guilt as I painted – and then proceeded to cut up – this lovely antique hankie, but it was for the greater good of my artistic endeavors and for Melissa’s one of a kind wedding, so the thought was fleeting.
I designed the shoe itself to have an overlapping ruched pattern in the front, mimicking the bodice of Melissa’s wedding gown and incorporated some Swarovski crystals to finish the edges of the map and accent the center of each apple blossom flower, which also tied into the belt detail on her dress. The subtle silver lambskin leather on the rest of the shoe picked up on the groomsmen’s light grey suits. As you can see, the pair really came together to spell out Melissa and Robert’s love for their home state and, of course, for each other. Click here to see more photos on Melissa’s page in our Gallery section.