Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Invitation Story!

Here we go: the long awaited story of the wedding invitations! We knew we wanted to make our invitations from the very beginning, but the getting to the finished product was a long and arduous process. And I loved every minute of it. Well, maybe not every one. But it was worth it.

So here's the beginning, and my favorite part of the whole thing. We worked on a few different designs and variations of the invitation, taking inspiration from some of my favorite paper goods and concert posters (the thought had crossed our minds to design an actual poster for our Save The Dates, but that obviously never came to fruition) and settled on this one. I think it's a perfect balance of fun and elegant. :)

Part of the design process was coming up with the most efficient printing layout, figuring out what size envelopes we would need, and making sure everything would fit together the way we wanted it. For me that meant measuring and cutting out pieces of paper which would represent the different elements to fit them together. Fitting an RSVP proof into a fake envelope, setting it on top of an invitation proof, sticking it all into a fake treat bag and finally another fake envelope... satisfaction when it all came out perfectly was, in retrospect, a bit unusual. They were all scraps of paper after all. It's not like I successfully finished invitations. The troubles had not yet started. But I was so proud!

The original idea was to screen print everything. We took the design and separated it into two templates; one red and one black. But we quickly realized that the screens we had would just not get that kind of detail no matter how hard we tried, we decided to just print the black text on the printer and then screen print the red on top. I won't get into the frustrations of getting photo emulsion to cooperate and how many screens we (the mister) made before we got one that actually worked. It did get to the point where I thought we would have to scrap the whole thing. It was not a happy thought. (Oh, and if you're thinking that fingerprint heart looks familiar? You would be right, and I'm not ashamed to admit it.)
Meanwhile, I was keeping myself busy with stamping and addressing envelopes. We ordered an address stamp from the lovely Angelique Ink so I wouldn't have to hand write anything, and I just love it. Don't be surprised if you start getting more cards than usual in the mail, as I will be looking for excuses to use my stamp. We also bought a rolling stamp from Violet Gift Shop to do the rest of the addressing. It sounds like a good idea at first, until you realize how hard it is to get everything to line up correctly, stay lined up when you ink it, and give a good clean impression on the envelope. And when you forget to turn a letter or make another stupid mistake? Forget about it. I made plenty of mistakes, resulting in some envelopes that I had to throw away and many more that just went in the mail imperfect. But who needs perfect?

I don't have any good photos of the addressed envelopes, so I'm moving on.
Here's the cute little bundle after you take it out of the envelope and the little treat bag (which I'm told made everyone crave popcorn. I'm sorry for that.)

More Etsy links: striped paper bags from The Carrier Bag Store, baker's twine from omgchocolatefrog. Those little details are some of the very first wedding related purchases I made, several months before we even really started the invitation design process. But all together I think they fit just perfectly, represent who we are, and really convey the mood I want to have for our wedding day. All that and tons of saved money too!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Now that both of my dear bridesmaids have accepted, I can share with you how I officially asked them to stand with me on my wedding day.

First of all, if you've known me for very long there's a good chance you already know who my bridesmaids are. They have been by my side for as long as I can remember, know me better than anyone and put up with me too. I have known Jessica since I was a wee little thing in a Speedo (when we were something like 6 years old her parents would give me rides to swim meets when mine were not able, and then we were on the high school swim team together many many years later), and I met Kelly in middle school art class. Funny too how both circumstances revolve around two of my deepest loves: water and art. We were pretty much a package deal throughout high school, one did not come without the others.

So anyway. I didn't think it was enough to call or text or email, and distance prevented me from getting the three of us together to ask and celebrate in person, so I went with hand written notes and pretty pretty snail mail.


And, of course, they said yes! So there we go.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

it's all coming together!

Ok ok, we're not very good at planning a wedding. Is this news to you all?

Well let me tell you something. We have not only set a date (June 5!), booked a caterer and a photographer (contracts signed, deposit checks sent), assigned a master of music and day of point person, officially requested the services of our nearest and dearest as bridesmaids/groomsmen (more on this later as I'm not entirely sure they have all arrived), and I ordered my dress! Totally amazing. All of this in, what, three weeks? We're also working on invitations, compiling a registry, and looking for boy's clothes.

But next up... the cake tastings. Because it is our right as people about to get married to eat free cake. And lots of it. Yes indeedy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wedding videos

To be honest I never saw the wedding video as something that I would be interested in. I pictured someone sitting with a video camera recording the ceremony and maybe some speeches given at the reception, possibly even the first dance. And I wondered "who would really sit down and want to watch it?" There are several reasons I would not want to watch myself get married, not the least of which being the fact that it's got to feel rather awkward standing up there in front of everyone and if there's any crying involved well that's just not attractive and then there's the forced kissing and oh yeah the fact that thus far I cannot think of anything (save the actual getting married part) that I'm excited about for the ceremony. 

This is kind of what I think of when I hear the words wedding video and ohmygoodness it just about bores me to tears (is that mean?)

Then of course there is the epic wedding dance and all that it inspired. No. This will not be happening at my wedding.

Just today I saw a video that brought wedding videos to a brand new embarrassing low. Not only is it boring and not worth watching again, ever, but it is so contrived, meaningless, and emotionless that it takes the point out of the entire thing. You made a music video on your wedding day. Congratulations.

Lauren + JP from Matt Odom on Vimeo.

But, folks, there are good wedding videos out there. I did not know it until I stumbled upon Max & Margaux's wedding (stumbled upon is a gross understatement. This wedding has been shoved in my face for weeks now, featured on what must be every blog in the universe. You've seen it right? No? Ok.) This is kind of sort of everything I could ever wish for in a wedding video. Fun. Relaxed. Authentic. Beautiful. The videos capture the mood and make you feel like you're there without making you relive it. These are the kind of videos I would love to have to watch on anniversaries and pass down to my children. In short, I'm just really freaking jealous of this amazing wedding and the sheer talent that makes up The Flashdance crew. It's kind of disgusting.

Max & Margaux from Shark Pig on Vimeo.
Max, Margaux, & The Marvelows from Shark Pig on Vimeo.

And go ahead and drool over Max & Margaux's gorgeous photos here and a million more places online (Really, just google Max & Margaux).

Now excuse me while I go see what I can sell on ebay to scrounge up the cash to have The Flashdance folks at my wedding (nevergonnahappenbutIcandream).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

potential wedding site I: The Athenaeum

First up, the Athenaeum.

I love the building, obvs. It's got loads of character and history, and just the right amount of grandeur for my taste.

 The building has one main room which is used as a gallery, and which I think is pretty close to perfect. It's clean, simple, and seems like it would make a nice backdrop for whatever we choose to do with the space. It certainly is nice to have that kind of freedom, and not have to worry about what kind of decorations would work with this wall color or that horrendous carpet. And it is the perfect size for the size event we're planning here. So, I think I like it.

Of course there's a but. We were thinking about doing the ceremony and the reception in the same place to make things a bit easier and hopefully more cost effective. And I could see both things happening in this space. I can see a ceremony setup and a reception/dinner setup. BUT those are two separate things, which would require a re-set between events. Which would mean the guests would need somewhere to go while things are being moved around. And extra space is not something this building has a lot of. 

There is a small room to the rear of the main room which might hold 50 people standing, and we could just have you hang out there for a bit until things are ready, but you'd kind of be stuck there. In order to get out of the building or even to the bathrooms you would be in the paths of the caterers.

There is also a very cute outdoor space in the back which according to the man showing the space could "easily hold 100 people" but I beg to differ.

This would be a lovely place to have the ceremony, and then have the reception already set up inside, which would eliminate the problem of where would you go in between time, but I have my doubts that it would fit more than 30 people seated. Or it could be our mingling "cocktail hour" space while the main room is being re-set from ceremony to reception, if we went that route. But then we're counting on good weather. What if it rains? Umbrellas? I've already thought to contact them and ask if they have or if we can get a tent to cover the space. So I'll let you know if anything comes of that.

So pretend you're here with me to help me ask questions, solve problems, and generally figure this business out. What would you do?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

a bit of inspiration and some hope

We're going to visit the first potential wedding venues this weekend! There are fancy hotels, rooftops, and pink historical buildings in the mix. Wish us luck!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

for your listening pleasure

Look, we're planning a wedding. I swear. No, there isn't a date yet. Or a location. Did you guys know that this stuff is hard? That it actually takes time and effort and lots of negotiating? That maybe it's not so simple to find the perfect rooftop location in Northern VA (specifically Alexandria) or D.C.? That maybe one of us should have been born into a family with an old plantation ready to host my party for free? Well you should have told me that. Because at first it seems like taking a year to plan a wedding will be more than enough time. What could you possibly be doing with all that time? one might ask. Well can you believe more than a month has gone by since we've gotten engaged? What have we been doing with all that time? I mean, I think we may have decided on our color scheme, I found some flowers that I like, and at least I know I have our cake forks picked out, but the rest? Nah.

At least I have been doing one thing. Creating the wedding playlist is relaxing (a great excuse to have spent the entire morning laying on the couch in my pjs instead of doing laundry or anything else really useful and productive), inspirational, and lots of fun! I have already solicited help from Facebook, but please leave your song suggestions in the comments below! I love hearing what songs are special to other people. Just don't be offended if all of your choices don't end up in the final product, music is a very personal choice and and we both feel very strongly about using songs that mean something to us.

So here we go, a few of my own personal choices. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

cute as a button

Here's a preview of the color pallet we're playing around with. Maybe not those exact shades, but it gives you an idea. I really love the look of grey and yellow together, especially for a Spring/Summer wedding, and some carefully balanced pops of red make for even more fun!

I have been thinking about these colors for a while now, and have seen photos of some yellow bouquets that I just adore. I fell in love with these big round yellow flowers that I wasn't even sure were technically flowers. As you might suspect, I had no idea what they were called. Try googling "big round yellow flowers" and see what you get. It is mostly flowers (and some suspicious owls), but sadly not the big round yellow flowers I was looking for. But thanks to Weddingbee I now know what they are!

That, my friends, is a Billy Button (or Billy Ball, woollyhead, or craspedia). And it makes a fabulous bouquet if I do say so myself.

Seriously, do you LOVE them?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

where it's at (two turntables and a microphone)

So you're probably reading this because you're interested in the wedding planning, right? And you'd probably be more interested if we actually got to the planning part. Where is this thing going to be held? Who's going to be running the show? And what about the party? The five tiered cake with red roses (no)? The food? Yes, I know these are all things that are on your mind because you have nothing else to think about. But here's the thing. We're sort of on hold right now because we're not quite sure where life will take us in the next year. And I'm trying, believe me I'm trying, to find out as soon as possible so we can get going with this wedding planning. I mean it's only like the most important day of my life so far. I'd kind of like to get to it.

And the other thing that has prevented me from posting much is that I'm still not entirely sure how I want to use this blog. I guess my vision was that with so many out of town friends and family who would normally be a part of the planning process, it would be nice to run some ideas by them via the blog to get some input while we're stuck here doing most of it on our own (not that I don't enjoy doing all of this planning with the mister, and he certainly isn't one of those grooms who says "whatever you want dear" leaving me to have a nervous breakdown trying to figure out what it is I want dear). But now I'm not entirely sure who's reading this and what I really want to share. I have found some great details that I am excited about making part of our day, but they immediately feel so personal to me that I'm not sure I want to put it out there. Maybe they should be surprises for everyone attending the wedding, or maybe they wouldn't even care about my special little details anyway! Maybe no one will even notice my special wedding cake forks or my personalized cake platters, and people probably won't be paying a whole lot of attention to our carefully planned playlist for the reception unless they're looking for the standard reception fare and are disappointed at the lack of Electric Slide and Don't Stop Believin' (I know, I wish we could play Journey too, but the mister has strictly forbidden it).

So here's the possibility I'm playing with: making this a private blog for only those close friends and family who I would trust with these details if they lived close enough to go shopping around with me. What do you think?

Friday, June 18, 2010

head over heels

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my ring and I couldn't possibly love any ring more, but if I were forced to choose a second best it might be this one. Brilliant. Dangerous, but brilliant.

By Tobias Wong, discovered via Brooklyn Bride.