Monday, August 9, 2010

New Blog!

Hey, folks! Guess what....I have a new blog! As much as I love this blog and found it really was a wonderful project to work on while I was planning our wedding, I realized once the wedding was over that there wasn't that much left for me to say.

I may still post little tidbits here from time to time, like if I'm helping a friend with his/her wedding and feel like they have a unique vendor or project to share, but the bulk of my blogging will likely take place here from now on:

Come by and check it out sometime -- it will be photography focused, with a healthy dose of travel and food/bar stuff thrown in. Pretty much no wedding stuff though, if that's your bag. Unless I take photos at a friend's wedding. Which could happen. Just sayin'.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Etsy Love: Gift Giving

I know...I've been a bad blogger. Truthfully, I didn't have much motivation to do wedding blogging after the wedding was over, but a couple of things happened in the last couple of weeks to make me break out the Blogger pages:

1. A very lovely couple contacted me to find out if I was interested in selling the many jars I had collected from our centerpieces because they, too, would like to do something similar. It was awesome both to get rid of the jars that had been taking up space in my house and hear that local brides were actually reading my blog and even finding it helpful.

2. Not too long after that, we discovered that a slow water leak under our house had been basically turning our house into a sauna, which led to extensive mold damage to a lot of items we were storing in our guest room, and a lot of those were wedding items. By wedding shoes (which I did plan to wear again) were totally ruined. Our cute little card tree went in the trash. But the most upsetting? My gown has mold damage. Yup, you heard me. I am going to take it to a preservation/cleaner for a consult to see if they can save it.

So, with so many of our little momentos thrown out in the trash this weekend, I wanted to revisit some of the things that made our wedding, in our opinions, awesome.

Let's start by wrapping up the Etsy Love category with attendant gifts.

We had a really hard time deciding what to get our attendants. They were all brothers and sisters, and we wanted to get something that would not only be a nice gesture but also appreciated and, dare I say it, actually used.

For my sister and sister-in-law, I went with jewelry. Seems like an obvious choice, I know, but I spent hours shopping (both on and offline) trying to find just the right items that would be beautiful and personal. For my sister-in-law, I picked out this silver necklace from madebysam:

I had it personalized with a citrine stone, which was doubly significant because yellow was one of our wedding colors and happened to be my sister-in-law's birthstone. For my sister, I picked out this owl-riffic number from LittleGreenRoom:

In case you haven't noticed, owls are kind of a thing with me, and that all started with my niece and a pair of owl pajamas I gave to her before she was born. Continuing the owl theme seemed extra important when I saw that this necklace featured and owl that the designer called "Hedwig, the protector." Given everything that has happened to my sister, she needs any extra protection she can get.

For the men, we gave them all the same thing: silver guitar picks with their initials engraved on them from bellabuttondesigns. Sounds kinda silly, but all the men involved each play some form of stringed instrument, and music has been a big role in all of our collective lives. I think they were well received.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Etsy Love, Part 2: Accessories

Back in the planning stages, I told you about my intentions to purchase ties for the groom and best men from Cyberoptix TieLab and my hair accessory from Portobello. Well, purchase we did, and they were awesome.

I think these photos speak for themselves, but if not, I'll tell you that we got compliments all day on both the ties and my hair clip. And, with the hair clip, the day that I went to get my hair and makeup trials, I wore it from appointment to appointment, and people were stopping me about every 15 minutes to freak out over how cute it was. I loved it. In fact, I still do, and am planning to break it out whenever the occasion might suit.

Photos by Aaron Thompson

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Etsy Love: Holly Stalder

Etsy is just about the greatest thing to ever happen to brides. Ever. Have you found yourself browsing the traditional bridal vendors, only to find nothing that strikes your fancy? Or worse yet, finding out that the thing that strikes your fancy is three times what you can afford to pay? Etsy has your answers! Seriously, whether it's fashion accessories, gifts for the wedding party, or decorations for your reception, you can probably find it on Etsy. Or at least find someone to make it for you. Though I love promoting San Diego vendors that are doing a great job, I found some Etsy vendors that positively made my wedding what it was. I plan to spend the next few posts telling you about the many Etsy vendors that I used.

First up: Holly Stalder. I first discovered her designs on Style Me Pretty when I saw this wedding featured (you'll notice that the bride is wearing a Nicole Miller gown -- I also wore Nicole Miller). After browsing her shop online, I knew that I had to have Holly design something for me. I sent her a convo, and we got started. I told her what I liked, what sort of style I was going for, and sent her pictures of me in my gown. She responded with suggestions, sent me some fabric swatches, and the designing began. She checked in along the way, letting me know how the process was going and sending pictures. When the finished product arrived, I was blown away. I couldn't believe how seamlessly it tied my whole outfit together.

Unfortunately, I don't have a great head-to-toe photo of my in the shrug. I started out wearing it at the reception, but got super hot from dancing and ended up having it off for longer than I anticipated. But people raved about how adorable it was.

Photos by Aaron Thompson

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Devil is in the Details

Here are some details from the vintage, bohemian decor that we tried to cultivate, both crafted by professionals and by our own hands. Our goal was to find venues that already had very strong visual elements and atmosphere, and simply play off those. Which we did, and I highly recommend letting your venue steer your decorations. It's much cheaper than starting from scratch trying to create an atmosphere that isn't there at all.

Ring pillow: made by me, based off of a project I saw on

Flower urns at altar: Che Bella

Flowers above and in fountain: my sister, with a little help from some friends

Drink pitchers*: purchased at Cost Plus and Target. I made the little wooden tags, and my friends helped set them up that morning

Flowers on chairs: Che Bella

Menu: done by Bleu Boheme

Favor cards: designed and printed by Inkfancy. The cards state that in lieu of favors, we gave a donation to Stand Up 2 Cancer. But we did affix some fun little buttons, with design elements from our invitations, to each favor card (ordered from Minepress)

Table scape: Flowers by Che Bella, jars* found by me after scouring Ebay and Craigslist. We found more than 150 jars, but doesn't sound like much, but the whole restaurant was positively overflowing with flowers. The table runners were made by JT's mom with fabric I found on TonicLiving

Images by Aaron Thompson with a couple additions from Spencer Tuck.

*Looking for something similar for your own wedding? I'm selling these!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dress You Up in My Love

Alright, after falling off the blogging bandwagon in November and December due to the wedding, honeymoon, and holidays, I'm back and ready to share more details with you. But rather than tell you about the details, I'll show you. Let's start with some fashion nuggets.

The dress is Nicole Miller, a wonderful designer for brides that are not interested in spending $3,000 on a gown, but still want to look fashion forward.
The shoes are Belle by Sigerson Morrison, amazingly found on sale at Piperlime.
The purse? That's a fantastic find that my sister picked up at a church yard sale! I couldn't believe the luck at how well it matched the shoes. The little broach and ribbon were additions courtesy of Holly Stalder, who made the broach to match the custom shrug I ordered from her, shown below.

The bridesmaids dresses were the ever popular J. Crew. I thought the ladies looked gorgeous! The men wore their own suits with ties from Toybreaker. The flower girls from JT's side of the family wore their own dresses with green sashes made by JT's mom. My niece wore a dress from SweetPlume, and my sister made her own fabulous feather hairband.

The feather hairpiece was made by Portobello -- I got so many compliments on it! And the earrings? Another great random find at Macy's for only $30!

All images by Aaron Thompson.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

So you know how everyone has those stories about what went wrong at their wedding? We to do, sort of. There were small things that went wrong on the day-of, but honestly, I didn't even notice most of them (and the ones I did notice, I didn't care about). But there was a last minute planning/design emergency that totally freaked me out. But in the end, it ended up making things even better.

On the Monday before the wedding, my friend Laura and I went to the Marston House around noon (approximately the time that the ceremony would take place on Saturday) to check a few things out. Laura would be helping the rental company set up chairs, tables, etc. on the big day. Plus, I was concerned about the sun -- we had initially planned on facing the house, but I was worried that we might need to adjust based on where the sun would be at that time of day.

And my worries were dead on. Once we got there, I realized that if we faced the house, we'd all be staring directly into the sun. So, last minute change of plans, and we decided to flip the opposite direction and face the fountain. Which meant calling the rental company to adjust the placement of the chairs and coming up with some last minute decorations for the fountain.

I know what you're thinking -- that doesn't sound like a big deal. It wasn't. What was? Because the musicians required a shady spot to sit, I was planning on having them sit under the small roofed structure on the west side of the garden. When we got there that Monday...I saw this:

WTF? A beat-up plastic fence in front of some caution tape? A support pillar about to fall over and crush someone? This was not going to work. Since the property is still technically owned by the city, I know calling them would be useless (when have you ever known the city to fix something non-essential in less than a week?). We rented an umbrella for the musicians to sit under, and began brainstorming options for covering up the deteriorating structure. Some sort of curtain? Attaching swags to the plastic fence that the city put up? Then I found it: the rental company had white lattice panels in their inventory. Three of those covered up the caution tape and plastic fencing perfectly. We chose not to decorate the lattice at all because I figured the less we did to draw attention to it, the less likely it would be that anyone would notice that there was something wrong. And that was exactly the case. I don't think anyone even noticed the panels, let alone that there was something crumbling behind them.

I hope my family doesn't mind me posting this picture of them -- it's the only photo that shows the lattice covering up the damaged structure (in the background). As you can see, it looked just fine.

However, the best part about the last minute changes was the decorations that my sister made for the fountain. From day one, before we even knew the when and where, I was daydreaming of having some sort of hanging floral strings, like these. Upon consulting the florist, we learned that, because it would involve so much labor, these would be really expensive. And I didn't trust my last minute DIY abilities (since you can't make fresh floral elements very far in advance), so I just shelved the idea. But my sister kicked into super-maid-of-honor mode, and after a trip to the wholesale flower shop, she spent the Wednesday before the wedding string these beautiful garlands. We also took some of the leftover flowers and scattered them in the fountain's basin. It look absolutely magical.