One of the first things I thought about for the wedding was colors. Since we’re getting married in early September, we could go either with more summery colors or with more fall-type colors. I always knew that blue was going to be one of my colors because it’s my favorite and because nearly everyone looks good in some shade of blue.
For shades of blue, I very quickly gravitated toward royal blue. It’s bright and fun, but also classy.
The complementary color was harder. I very quickly identified orange because I love the pop of color and I think orange flowers are gorgeous.
How pretty is this? Image via Wedding Flowers and Reception Ideas
Ultimately, though, Sparky decide that orange and royal blue was a little too close to the webpage colors of a certain large online retailer. He didn’t mind orange flowers, but he definitely didn’t want orange incorporated in other aspects of the wedding.
So we’d tossed aside the ’40s and ’50s as era inspiration and monkeys were dubbed a little too childish (well, for the wedding at least). In our earlier discussions we’d also talked about and nixed pretty darn quick the costume-heavy weddings of any of our geekier interests: comics, RPGs, or Star Trek. And while Mr. RT said he would be open to a Renaissance-style wedding (since I used to play in the SCA [Society for Creative Anachronism]), I wasn’t as interested in that as I once might have been.Where was our theme?! Was there no single idea that would guide our decision-making process and steer us toward a color scheme while we were at it?
And then the answer arrived.
Ever have one of those “duh” moments? In retrospect, this was one of them for us (or at least for me; T understood my need for a theme but wasn’t too worried about it himself). We’d already discussed doing a wine ceremony instead of a more traditional unity candle (blending, yes; merging, not so much, or something like that) and, obviously, food and wine were going to be major considerations as far as the reception was concerned. A wine-themed wedding was practically staring at us in the face!
Yay, a theme!
Sources: 1.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Miki & Sonja Photography); 2.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Lisa Lefkowitz); 3.) Strictly Simple Style; 4.) Apartment Therapy (Photo by Green is Universal); 5.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Kristi Odom Photography); 5.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Mike Larson, Event by Touch of Style); 6.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Apertura); 7.) Style Me Pretty (Photo by Kim Seidl Photography, Event by Simply Chic Events)
Early 2006. Friday after work. On I-10 heading toward New Orleans.
Out of the blue I decide I want a stuffed monkey (preferably one with Velcro hands and feet) to carry around the French Quarter and take pictures of and with. The entire weekend (only one night of which was spent in the Quarter) I could find no such monkey. I found monkey beads and at least two monkey signs but no stuffed monkey I could name George. And then my friends, after we got home, called me up to say I’d left something in their car. I was pretty sure I hadn’t, but whatever; they stopped by my apartment that evening and presented me with just the stuffed monkey I’d been looking for.
Ever since then, I’ve had a thing for monkeys.
And Mr. RT frequently indulges my monkey obsession by bringing home the odd stuffed simian on any given day and encouraging me to decorate our Christmas tree with monkey ornaments (along with cocktail-themed ones).
We even call our home Monkey Creek (monkey for my obsession, creek being the Dutch translation of his last name).
So a monkey theme seems a natural one for our nuptials, right?
So the ’50s idea didn’t fly when placed under close scrutiny, but what about a hop, skip, and a jump back about 10 years to the fabulous ’40s? Mr. Road Trip’s favorite movie is Casablanca, and one year for Christmas a certain little elf bought him the deluxe gift set that had just been released. I’d actually never seen the movie all the way through in one sitting (I know, there are some serious gaps in my classic movie viewing; just like there are some major ones in T’s pop culture movie appreciation), so our plan for New Year’s Eve became a quiet night in with Rick and Ilsa, champagne and strawberries, and enough of a break to watch the ball drop. It was a fabulous night.
It was also followed up by a viewing of Carrotblanca-the Looney Tunes parody of the feature film that, I have to admit, was more my speed than the source material.
Still, can you imagine the WWII fashion options, the dreamy music playing during the reception, and the old Hollywood glamour; silver, black, and white decor with a hint of icy Tiffany’s blue, and—of course!—black and white photography!
Images via (L to R, top to bottom): gabriellelouiseshop on Etsy; All Made Up Team (photography by Duc Pham of Tacolayo Photography); BooksAreTheNewBlack; Best of Texas; Dirty Fabulous Vintage; Wedding by Color (uploaded by mechelle); Retro Art Glass; Saks Fifth Avenue; Skyscraper.org
Coming up with our first-dance song (something I didn’t have at either of my first two weddings and, therefore, something that was important to me to include this time) was actually pretty simple once I gave it some thought.
It was a song Mr. Trips had shared with me when we were first emailing back and forth, a song I’d never heard before but the lyrics were very sweet and I tracked it down on iTunes shortly thereafter. It’s an old song (from the ’50s), and one evening I mentioned it to T as a possibility for “our song” and he liked the idea well enough. One thing down! Woot!
Song titles or lyrics are quite the treasure trove of theme possibilities, and this song spoke about “little things,” those tiny gestures and courtesies we grant each other that mean more than possessions and trappings. Nice, huh?
Well, mulling around the concept I could see centerpieces built of miniatures, a vintage feel, and maybe dollhouse-sized items scattered about.
I always knew weddings have a general theme to them, but I never really though about what mine would be until it was time to start making some decisions. I knew I didn’t want a lot of mismatched/random elements and that I liked the idea of everything looking cohesive. So what would our “theme” be?
It didn’t take me long to decide I wanted the fleur de lis to play a central role. It is the symbol of my beloved city of New Orleans and it can be incorporated into almost every detail.
Looking for inspiration was more difficult than I imagined, but I knew what we ended up with would be uniquely us, and that was my main goal.
Some example of FDL wedding items that are not for us…
Way too much going on for my taste (Image via Momental Designs)
This just looks uncomfortable. (Image via Overstock.com)
The first wedding item I purchased (maybe before the engagement?) was a fleur de lis paper punch from Overstock. I thought I would make my own invitations and use the punch as much as possible. I have since booked a vendor to print our invitations (more on that later!), but the paper punch has not gone unused. Stay tuned for my first major DIY where I break in the punch!
After we settled on the theme we then decided on colors. For an October wedding I knew pinks and yellows and all the beautiful pastels were not going to work. I wanted something classic—something that would appeal to all ages and would be timeless. Enter: navy, gold, and cream.
Martha Stewart knows what’s up. (Image via Martha Stewart Weddings / Individual credits at source)
Navy bridesmaid dresses? White flowers? Hints of gold? Sign me up! Settling these two major details helped guide our vision for everything else. I know everything will not work together completely, but that’s OK. Armed with my guidelines for cohesion, I was ready to start the real planning.
How did you get inspired?
Now that I’ve shared the whole wedding from start to finish, I’m so excited to finally write one of my favorite posts to read: Inspiration boards versus reality boards. Did our wedding actually look like what we’d planned for over two years ago?
Here’s the inspiration board that I shared right when we first started planning. A few things definitely stand out: Red, red, red, balloons, whimsy, TOMS, and Chucks.
Collage created by me / Sources: (1) Ceremony via Once Wed / Photo by Brooke Schwab Photography, (2) Hair Flower by He Knows My Name on Etsy, (3) Flowers via The Knot, (4) Ceremony via Once Wed / Flowers by The Blooming Bride / Photo by Brooke Schwab Photography, (5) Shoes by TOMS, (6) Invitation by Minted, (7) Macarons via Delectable Deliciousness, (8) Chicago Map by ORK Posters, (9) Photo by The Nichols / Event by Lizze Belle Event Planning, (10) Sweets Table by Amy Atlas, (11) Photo By Stephanie Williams Photography, (12) Tea cups via The Knot, (13) Cake Topper by Lollipop Workshop on Etsy, (14) Chuck Taylors via Inspired Occasions / Photo by Lindsey Janies Photography, (15) Invitation by Felice Design on Etsy
And here’s what it all looked like after 18 months of planning!
My wedding planner says that “your theme determines a lot of your wedding planning.” From your wedding dress to tablescape, your theme should be consistent throughout. We decided early on that our alma mater (Purdue University) would play a big role in our wedding.
Not only is it the place that we met, but Mr. Scooter and I also earned both our undergrad and graduate degrees from this wonderful institution. We both joined Greek organizations at the university. It is the place where we met some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. It’s a great school that gave us an opportunity to grow and mature. I especially have a special place in my heart for this cool school because my mother also attended. In a weird twist of fate, I stayed in the same dorm my mother did while she was in undergrad. How fun is that?!! Maybe I should work in admissions.
We were just shy of actually having the wedding at Purdue, but it wasn’t realistic of us to expect people to fly into a surrounding city and drive to a different location (unless they wanted to risk flying into the local airport). Although I am sure going this route would have helped in managing our guest list. If we decided have have it at Purdue, we wouldn’t have been the only couple to ever do this. Check out this couple or this couple. Maybe this couple will give you a flavor for what a PU wedding (on location) could be. I am sure my list of couples could go on and on. It actually has its own Pinterest board.
Our wedding is big on meaning. There are a lot of things that are really special to us and we want to incorporate them in our big day. Mr. Palm Tree said it best when discussing Pad and Pie, our flower girls: “Our wedding is going to be so meaningful. Rev Fun officiating us and Pad and Pie being the flower girls…it’s going to be really full of love.”
I know, I know—gag you with a spoon, right?
Needless to say, though, our wedding colors would also fit with us. I know there are a lot of really pretty color themes that are in right now:
Image via TheKnot / Really bright, popping colors
Not an obvious theme, anyway. Like vintage or pink-and-green or chevron. We have no set colours, no year, no anything really. I guess our “theme” is just…us.
We did think about a theme, but nothing really stood out. He is a musician and songwriter with a love of things from his childhood like Pokemon and the Nintendo. I work in an office and like crafty, pretty things. I’m not really big on music, and he’s not really big on crafts, so both of those things can’t really make a “theme” without excluding one of us.
What about things we both like? Like tattoos and piercings since we met on a body-modification website? Well, we’re not really that big on all that now, so that seems a bit pointless. And we both like science stuff…but not enough that it’s something that represents our relationship. We like vintage-style things but aren’t “vintage” people, so that would also look a bit weird…every way we looked at it, we were lost. How could we come up with a theme if we didn’t represent anything as a couple?
As all you brides- & grooms-to-be know, wedding planning can get extremely overwhelming at times. There are SO many things to consider, so much information to absorb, and so many forms of inspiration that it’s often really easy to lose sight of your vision and what you and your partner really want most out of your big day (besides marrying the love of your life, of course!).
So here are some tips on staying as organized and focused throughout the process as possible.
Think about what you and your partner are most passionate about or have in common and how these things can be incorporated into your big day.
Do you love to travel? Are you big foodies? Obsessed with video games? Music? The color blue? Of course not every wedding needs to be themed, but thinking of things that are meaningful to you guys and figuring out how to incorporate these ideas into the wedding will give you some focus/direction in your vision and will let your personalities shine through.
List making should become a new hobby.
The decision on our wedding “theme” wasn’t actually a planned one—it all just kind of fell into place. To start, I wanted to narrow down the colors, since that would be the unifying factor for everything from the save the dates to wedding-reception decor. I asked FH for his opinion on this…and (unsurprisingly) he looked at me like I had two heads. He was all like “The last thing I care about is a color scheme. Just please don’t make it too girly.” LOL. Clearly I should have expected that answer, but I try to involve him wherever possible since it is our wedding, after all. I’m just lucky he didn’t suggest a Green Bay Packers themed wedding since he’s such a hardcore fan!
So after thinking a bit more about non-girly colors that really felt like “us,” a teal and champagne gold color scheme was decided. Then, in searching for potential wedding themes utilizing these colors, I came across peacock feathers. And fell in LOVE. Their feathers are gorgeous with a number of jewel tones, including different shades of blue, green, brown, and gold. I also have a thing for feathers, so I thought this would be perfect.
However, doing a search on Google Images for “peacock themed weddings” turned up some…not so inspiring results. It seems that incorporating peacock feathers into a wedding theme ranges from very understated to horrific and over the top. So with not a lot of inspiration to go by, I’ve had to wing it and kind of make it up as I go along. I scoured Pinterest, Google, and Etsy and found these images for inspiration.
So says Puck, the mischievous fairy in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I have always been a huge reader, and the whimsical playfulness that I envision as I read this play is exactly the feeling I would like to capture for our wedding.
This was my inspiration picture. If I could just shimmy my way into this picture Mary Poppins style, I would be one happy girl. There is just something about the cafe lights and long winding table that feels so perfect to me. It is classy, yet casual at the same time. I love that the table is surrounded by nature, like it is their own party in the woods. Sigh…
Then I ran across this inspiration picture and knew I’d found my vibe…
Are there any F. Scott Fitzgerald fans in the house?! A few years ago I read The Great Gatsby, and it was true love from the very first page. I love Fitzgerald’s writing style and I am enamored and fascinated by the lifestyles of the rich and famous of the 1920s. I would give an arm and a leg to spend an evening in Paris or New York in the 1920s. Sigh…I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through Woody Allen movies.
F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda (left) with Owen Wilson and several minor characters in Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris / Photo via Cinema Convo
Although our wedding didn’t have a strict theme per se, a lot of the details, especially the decor, were inspired by the Jazz Age. To give you a visual, here’s a couple inspiration boards:
I can’t tell if I’m more sensitive to blue or if I’m just going insane, but I’m finding that picking the correct shade of blue for my bridesmaid dresses to be one of the most difficult things in this wedding so far. Anything that needs to be blue is almost impossible to find in the right shade.
|Photo by: Beautiful Day photography on Inspired By This via Lover.ly|
When looking for a shade of pink, I just pick something soft and pastel, and call it a day. With the peach, it was a little more difficult to pick something that was more pinkish than orange, but it was at least doable.