The Program

1 Apr

My number one concern for most of the wedding (and an anxiety I am still dealing with now) is to make sure that all the people who helped were thanked appropriately. As I’ve said before, we had an incredible number of people contribute. We decided that the program (of course) was the best place to do this.

Most people reserve program use for “OOE” or “Order of Events” and cast of characters- which of course we were going to do as well- but my primary thought while designing the program was a huge list of thank-yous.

I had seen a picture in a magazine (escaping me currently) that had wedding invitations created with all different kinds of fonts, justified and kerned so that they filled every last little nook and cranny of the invite. I LOVED HOW IT LOOKED… but could not convince fair Eric to use it for our invite (and I agree- it was a touch whimsical for our style, we wanted something more wedding-y, less quirky).

However. When it came time for the PROGRAM…. oh yes. Bring it on, font explosion!

photo credit ashley forrette

We tried to use interesting language for our OOE- instead of simply listing events, we made it sound cool: “Pepe, Chris and Vicki speak of love. We say our vows. We get hitched. You cheer.” — Cause hey, that’s how we talk!
photo credit ashley forrette

We also used THE ENTIRE BACK OF THE PROGRAM to thank a ton of people who helped for the wedding. Because of time constraints, some helpers (Grace! Your cheese plates were divoon! THANK YOU!) did not make it on the program… but we did our best! It was something we waited as long as we could to print- and thank goodness- because things definitely changed close to the date.

Want this for your wedding? Visit Sunny and Stumpy, my new etsy shop, and let me make you a program JUST LIKE THIS!

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The Family

17 Mar

I have written many “about me” papers in my life- tons of classes, resumes, and applications require them. Every single paper I have written begins like this:
“I come from a very large, loving family.”

What does “large” mean in this instance? Over 30 aunts and uncles, and 40+ first cousins. I’ve heard of people having big families like this. Inevitably, however, these big families are not very close. That’s not the case with us. I see most of my family at least a couple times a year- and the rest of them every other year or so. I’m friends with all of them on Facebook (hey, that’s something!) and know what their lives are like, and what they sound like when they laugh.

This family- almost every single one of them- came forward for our wedding and provided immeasurable, perfect help. My cousin Carolyn spent hours preparing bags full of goodies for the kids to play with during the wedding. My grandma got our bobble heads for us and made amazing gourmet nuts for every single table to enjoy. Dozens of my cousins — from age 5 to 35 — helped by passing out programs, coordinating the rehearsal, singing, playing, bearing signs and checking coats.

My aunts spearheaded the decoration team, folding napkins, divvying up silverware, and placing table names. My uncles practiced and performed glorious music, and my Uncle Chris lovingly read for our ceremony.

Having a family like this is like living in a kick-ass house. It’s having a place to come home to, walls to rely on, a bed to sleep in, and a fantastic sound system to pump loud, singable music into your life. It’s a pool in the summer, a heater in the winter, books in the evening and orange juice in the morning.

Our wedding would have been half as big without our family. I mean that in a literal sense (over 120 people at the wedding were CLOSELY related to us), and in a metaphoric sense. The day was so much richer, deeper, more meaningful– literally BIGGER– because of the relatives who gave themselves to the creation and execution of it.

Thank you, zany family. We couldn’t have done it without you. We love you.

Pillows and Petals

9 Mar

The story of our flower girl and ring bearer signs begins here:

I had seen this SUPER cute image of wedding guests parading from the ceremony to the reception with incredible animal puppets. I loved the idea of a parade! Eric didn’t go for it, especially since our ceremony and reception were in the same place, but I kept that “sign” idea in my mind. When we went to prepare something for our ring bearers and flower girls to carry, it came back around.

Instead of having the girls trail petals behind them (we weren’t having real flowers anyway, and fake rose petals creep me out) and the boys carry a pillow with a fake ring tied to it, why not have them carry SIGNS?! A sign to introduce the bridesmaids and groomsmen! A sign to introduce Eric (we had our guests stand for him) and one for me. We used Jolby’s pattern to design the signs:


We had to make sure they weren’t too heavy for the little kids, but big enough for everyone to read… it took me a long time to figure out where to print the signs (for some reason Kinko’s can’t print big without using weird vinyl sign material), but I found Mimeo! They have awesome customer service and affordable printing options. In hindsight I could have had them mounted on board, but I did it a little differently.

Here’s how I did it:
1. Got the signs on regular paper, printed up nice and big.
2. Mounted them on posterboard and cut them out.
3. Wrapped cheap wood sticks from Home Depot with pink satin ribbon.
4. Stapled foam board to the sticks, then glued the posterboard TO the foam board.

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere they are!

photo credit ashley forrette

The signs were a super cute detail that got a great response from the crowd- and gave our cute flower girls and ring bearers something a little unique.

Eric’s Ring

6 Mar

As we all know, my darling Eric is not exactly conventional. He doesn’t like things to be generic (mostly because it rhymes with his name). In this day and age, you don’t just get a shiny yellow gold ring like everyone else. There are so many options!

None of these cool, “different” options were working for Eric, though. He wanted a ring that he knew he would like for years to come. The first one we really got excited about was this fantastic ring from Beth Cyr on etsy:

…which we really appreciated for its organic feel and soft color.

Then we found Jesse Danger. This incredible metalsmith works from his cool, gritty shop in Salem, MA. His “Love is on the Inside” rings have two metals melded together. The metal on the inside represents your love for each other- never changing. The outside metal, exposed to the elements, represents your bodies, that change with time. Isn’t that freaking cool?! We thought so.

Even cooler was THIS: We were on the East Coast for our Cape Cod family reunion, and my dad and I snuck off to Salem to pick up the ring. We got to meet Jesse- and he was AWESOME! We got to see his shop and hang out with him a little bit. His work is absolutely impeccable.

I proposed to Eric (like I had wanted to anyway for years before he popped the question) at the family baseball game. He said YES! What a surprise 😉

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:

Creepers:

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!

THE PATTERN

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.

ANYWAY, BACK TO THE PATTERN.

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?