Archive | Projects RSS feed for this section

Figs and Ink

12 Apr

One of the big choices (and most personal) to make for a wedding is COLOR. The black-red-silver wedding has a completely different feel from the lime-pink-white one. Color should reflect the couple, the season, and the tone of the wedding. Obviously.

Sites like Snippet and Ink provide incredible inspiration boards full of color and tone. I became sliiiiiightly obsessed with this site at the onset of our planning.

We started out thinking we’d go with blues and greens (me being a blue girl, Eric into green)…

… with black bridesmaid dresses and white accents.

After a whole lot of looking, however, I found THIS gem:

Which made me feel like going with a LOGICAL choice of colors might not be the best bet. If I have learned one thing in wedding planning, it is that you need to go with emotional decisions instead of logical ones (in regard to color, style, etc. Logical decisions are OK when, for example, you’re planning your schedule). I loved the unique formality of the navy blue vs. the black- and I LOVED the blush pink next to the dark, corally pink.

We tried to implement the colors without looking like we were choosing things JUST because they matched- we spent a long time with Pantone books and paint chips and fabric swatches. We were careful with our pinks. We tried to leave plenty of things plain (we used wood and white a lot). Color should be used tastefully- don’t just toss any old stuff onto your tables just because they’re the colors you’re using.


The Photo Booth

5 Mar

My best friend Jaime, who also designed and made my wedding jewelry, got married a few years ago. At her wedding (this was before it was trendy) she had a photo booth! Guests were lined up for hours to take pictures in the booth. I knew at the time that we, too, would partake of this fantastic idea. We provided our guests with props and chalk boards… here’s what happened…

We had repeat offenders (the most visits per pair: 10!! (identities kept secret to protect the vain)) such as Will:

Special messages written on chalk boards for us:


Insanity (this was the last photo taken of the night, if that gives you any idea about context… and yes, that’s a table name on Chris’ chest and a chair bow on his head):

… and a TON of other photos we just don’t have room to include.

We did a lot of price shopping and found out that these darn booths are NOT cheap. We were forgoing other favors– there are a million awesome favor options these days (ranging from seed paper to succulents to wine stoppers), but we really wanted something that would be a lasting memory for our guests. We found that photobooths range from $700-$1600 dollars for three hours of use. We, of course, went with the less expensive option (keep in mind we booked in 2009, so prices may be different now)– Central Valley Photo Booth. They were very nice, easy to work with, and the most affordable. AND we got all of the photos just a couple weeks after the wedding on disc. Sweet.

Two copies of each strip of photos printed, so if we wanted, we could have had our guests cut one copy and leave it for us, and take one with them (we opted to let them keep them both).

I have heard of photographers setting up similar booths, and brides using a colorful piece of fabric and a camera on a tripod to create similar memories. I think it’s awesome to have activities for your guests, and this is one that everyone will be into.

Best part: the guy reminded Eric and me to get our butts into the booth before the end of the night. We totally would have forgotten!


1 Mar

I am SO excited to be writing this blog today. Our wedding had a definitive BRAND to it- and it was all thanks to our good best friends Jolby: Josh Kenyon and Colby Nichols. We had recently become good friends with them (just months before our engagement) and we had the idea to have them design our invites. The words were barely out of our mouths before they were saying YES YES YES!

We started by giving them a couple of ideas, one of which was this:

We knew we wanted a lot of pattern on the back, and a front with our information on it. Invitations are one of those things where I feel like there’s a lot of waste of paper happening in the world. We went over our guest list and decided of the 350 people we were inviting (I know, I know) only about 5 of them were technologically challenged. The rest of our guests could definitely log onto our website and get all the other pertinent information from there. We decided to do a single page invite and save the paper and printing hassles.


Josh sent us this image to see if we liked the amount of swirlies/pattern intricacy:

Once we cleared that, he sent us THIS- his first go at the pattern:

We loved it, but felt like there was some “-olby” missing. Colby is known for his whimsical characters and Josh for his pattern and texture work— we felt a lot of Josh, but not enough Colby. And if you know Colby, you know the more, the better. He’s a beast.

After working on it a bit more, they came back to us with this:

Colby added those adorable suns to represent Fresno (our hot hometown) and the stumps for Stumptown (Portland’s nickname). It was JUST what we were looking for: something that felt like a wedding invitation, but still had some whimsy, and something that was DISTINCTLY us. Honestly, we were blown away. The shock and excitement didn’t end… then Josh started playing with colors:

…blowing our minds further. We discussed colors, looked at Pantone books and held them against fabric and paper we were using for other details, and they worked diligently to come up with details for the stumps. We cleaned up picky points. At long last, here was the end result:

This incredible pattern was the basis for so. many. things. As this blog progresses, you will see the intensity with which we applied this pattern to every single last little detail. We owe endless thanks to Josh and Colby. Without them and their insane expertise, creativity, and skill, our wedding would not have been what it was. Thank you, boys!

The Dress

28 Feb

I am not the kind of girl who knew all her life what her wedding dress would look like. As a matter of fact, I didn’t have ANY ideas about my wedding until I fell in love with Eric- it seemed like the Big Day needed a partner before it could take shape in my brain.

Two days after we were engaged, however, I did find myself wandering into a bridal shop in Northwest Portland and asking about this:

I was sure something like this would work best for my big-breasted, tall form. Sleeves to keep the dress up, a nice A-line to keep my gut from showing. The woman at the VERY expensive Divine Designs informed me that this kind of dress wouldn’t be best for my shape, as it turns out… and put me into this:

…which still had straps, but was ruched around my hips and provided a much more flattering form. She told me that I needed to think of my wedding gown like a building: there are rafters and support beams and dry wall. Instead of trying to hide my gut, I needed to ACCENT my good parts- my waist and my boobs and hips. That particular dress was $5k, so I didn’t get it, of course, but proceeded to find several places online that had the knock-off version. I was warned against it, so I didn’t get a knock off ($170 for a dress sounded really, really good though).

The following dresses were the other “Dresses of My Dreams”… all of which I ALMOST bought.

At long last, however, I wandered into Anna’s Bridal, which had a good selection of gowns but not the best customer service, and told the lovely woman I was looking for something vintage with ruching around the waist. She said she had just the thing (at which point I realized I had not given her a price range, and started to get nervous), and showed me this glorious thing (shown NOT fitting me, but I would like to maintain the integrity of the process. This is what I saw when I bought the dress)– a Spanish designer named Pronovias, and the dress “Haiti.”

To my very happy surprise, it was originally $1200, on sale for $1000. I wasn’t completely happy with that price, however, so I asked if they could get the price down any lower. They said $900. I felt like that negotiation went so well that I came back three days in a row, and finally got the price down to $750. Now that I work in a bridal boutique, I know that this is NOT normal. Most of the time, there is an MSRP on dresses (just like cars) that has to be met by each shop- Anna probably shouldn’t have given me such a low price. It could put her relationship with the designer in danger. She did, however, and I got the dress for an insane price.

Here are some final pics of the dress, starting with when I first received the gown:

When I finally got it altered (please note excellent weight loss):

And on the Big Day:

The day of the wedding, someone stepped on my dress while we were taking pictures before the ceremony. I really didn’t freak out- what was I going to do? Big deal- a black footprint on my dress… but the girls thought it was worth fixing, so they employed Colby of Jolby fame to get some Shout Wipes. They cleaned it up real nice and I walked down the aisle footprint-free.

AND: The day after, my lovely parents and their friend put on a brunch for us… and I showed up in street clothes but then realized that I really wanted to just be wearing my dress again. So, I put it on.
photo credit: uncle rick roellke

I cannot imagine having a dress any more perfect than the one I chose (even though I will say that my heavy chest did a number on the boning that held together the top of the dress, and I had bruised ribs the next day from the folded plastic bones… dang boobs) and Eric LOVED it… and that’s what it’s all about, right?

The Cake Toppers

23 Feb

photo credit: bethany raelene

My dad joked when we first got married that he wanted to make bobble heads of us and sell them at a booth at the wedding to recoup some of the costs. On a whim one night at my Grandma’s house, I decided to look up how much it would cost. They were too expensive to make in bulk, but my dear Grandma insisted that we get those “bubble dolls” for the top of our cake. We did, and they were a huge success. And now, hello. We have bobble heads of ourselves. So sweet!… the place that made it happen. Great customer service- we didn’t like Eric’s nose in the first mockup they sent us, so they remade him.

Engagement Photos & Save the Dates

22 Feb

At first, we thought we might forgo the Save the Date- with Facebook, people already knew we were engaged, and it didn’t seem necessary to spend the money getting a Save the Date printed. A couple of things changed our minds.

1. We had a ton of people living out of state who would be coming, and we wanted to give them plenty of time to make travel arrangements.

2. We wanted to take engagement photos because we are vain and like pictures of ourselves.

Lucky for us, we know TWO amazing photographers. Ashley Forrette was going to shoot our wedding, so we asked our fantastic friend Bethany Raelene to take our engagement photos. We didn’t want anything generic for our location, so we picked the fabulous Hippo Hardware and a couple vintage stores for our shoot.

It was so much fun toodling around this old hardware store, using the insane textures on the walls and the cool props (like doors and ovens)… it made our photos so much more personal (not that there’s anything wrong with taking beautiful outdoor photos by the river, or lovely flowers… it’s just not us) and super rad. Plus Bethany is fantastic and sweet, so it made the experience awesome. It was also really helpful to spend time taking photos together- making the right kinds of faces, being cuddly in front of someone else… this made our photos for our wedding so much easier. For her blog on the shoot, click here.

We LOVED this image:

… and decided to use it for our Save the Dates. I edited the words on the stairs to reflect our date and names, and added a fancy border using the Jolby pattern that will one day have a post all its own. We didn’t try to make our Save the Date fit with any other theme in the wedding, but we did make sure it used that fancy pattern. And oh, I photoshopped a different face onto my head so I could be smiling in the pictures. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone.