Remember that time I said I hated chair covers? Well, I may not have been 100% honest about that…
Truth is, chair covers are one of those things I never thought about until I got engaged. Heck, I may have even liked them at one time!
Then, I started watching wedding shows and foraging for inspiration online. All of a sudden, chair covers became an abomination, an eyesore that simply had no place at my beautiful, classy wedding.
I blame this guy:
Chiavari chair/ Image via thechaircompany.ca
Yup, I jumped on the Chiavari bandwagon like a hobo hitching a ride on the last train out of town, and never looked back.
Mr. Waterfall? Not so much.
I’ve shared several photos of our venue with you. The converted warehouse (factory?) lends itself to high ceilings and rafters and just a general sense of wide open space. The size of it means that we could hold twice the number of people we’re inviting (but thinking about that many people could cause a panic attack), but since we’re not inviting that many, it means that our ceremony could possibly get lost in the space.
OK, so that’s probably unlikely, but I have been doing all kinds of thinking about how to make the ceremony feel intimate in that lovely space.
Beautiful, but not the feel that I want. / Photo by Cory Parris
First thing: curtains.
It was the Wednesday night before our Saturday engagement shoot, and I get the hare-brained idea to make us a banner to use as a photo prop.
Now, before we go any further, I want to assure you this story has a happy ending, as evidenced by this awesome shot from the day of:
Photo by Pink Shutterbug Photography, cropping by me (mostly to remove our kissy-faces)
But it wasn’t guaranteed when I went to start.
Sparky and I are planning to write our own wedding ceremony. During the entire time that we’ve been engaged, I can’t think of a single time where we haven’t planned on doing this. We are our own unique people and, thus, our relationship is unique. Crafting the ceremony in such a way that it is exactly what we want gives us the best chance to represent ourselves during the event that establishes our marriage as official.
Speaking of official, meet Officiant J, one of my best friends from college (not the friend who introduced us) / Personal photo
We are certainly not the only people who have made the decision to write our own ceremony. (In fact, if you Google search “write your own wedding ceremony” you get 12,000,000 results.) Since we are certainly not pioneers in this area, we have a lot of guidance.
I grew up in an antique shop. Not really, but my house always felt like one. I remember playing with old metal cars and trucks as a kid and a vintage Playskool barn that my grandmother kept in her attic.My family has always appreciated antiques, and they’ve always taken really good care of their stuff. A lesson I learned too well, as I freak out when I break a plate I bought for $3 at Ikea.
A few weeks ago, my dad and I went to the Brimfield Fair—the country’s largest outdoor antique festival that runs for three weeks in May, July, and September. I, having wedding on the brain constantly, had a few ideas of things I could keep an eye out for—a card box, vintage wine bottles or crates, or some cool signage.
Brimfield is about an hour and half away from our town, so we hit the road at 6:00 AM to get a good parking spot and first dibs on the early-bird deals.
(All photos are personal)
Brimfield at an ungodly hour. Hardly anyone there yet!
We trolled well over 100 vendor stalls over the next five hours or so, and while my dad kept hitting the great deals, all I stumbled upon was crap like this:
Our reception venue, Fabrica, is a blank canvas. No decor is included at all. No tables, no chairs—not even any proper lighting.
Fabrica is an art gallery, so the only permanent lighting it has are the spotlights around the perimeter of the space, and some huge flood lights that shine up toward the ceiling, giving the appearance of daylight all day.
Not exactly mood lighting.
We’ll be using the spotlights and stringing up some fairy lights along with our bunting—but that still leaves the tables in the semi-darkness.
Here’s another thing about Fabrica that’s a kicker—no open flames. The age of the building and the sheer amount of wood in there means we have to avoid flames at all costs. That even means that our caterers must use electric equipment over gas, and all our electrical equipment must be PAT tested.
Originally I thought I’d use battery operated candles in cute votives, but after I bought a pack of them, zero light was emitted around them—not helpful.
So! Back to the drawing board. I wondered about using fairy lights but had no idea what on earth I could do with them. The only thing I’d seen about fairy lights as centrepieces were things like this.
There are a LOT of cool, fun things going on in weddings these days, and the candy bar or buffet is one of them. Sure, some folks are saying that this is one of the trends that’s dying out, but I bet we’ll be seeing them for a while. It’s not something that was going to fit in with our wedding plans, but that didn’t stop me from setting up something similar at last year’s Halloween party. (We also did the mashed potato bar at this party—I hope those never go out of style!)
Here are some things I learned that might help if you’re planning to include these sweet treats for your wedding.
That year’s theme was Toddlers & Tiaras—the mega Pixie Stix were a must! (personal photo)
1. Be creative with your color scheme.
Hive, I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m a perfectionist. Sometimes I get so obsessed about little details that all I want to do is curl into a little ball.
While I’m extremely excited to marry Sparky and celebrate that day with friends and family (all 170-plus of them who have been invited), the idea of that large of an event can really stress me out.
Ultimately I know I will love it—I’m so very happy with Sodo Park and I’m thrilled that we don’t have to limit our guest list or leave anyone out who we really want to be there. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this: I’m not the only bride out there who has thought about a very different wedding when stressed. (Raise your hand if you’re with me!)
Today I’m not feeling stressed out. Today I’m smiling at the thought of walking down the aisle at Sodo Park in front of a big group of people. Today I’m not worried about the potential drama. So today I’m going to share my stress-fantasy wedding with you because it’s not a temptation.
Meet the Corson Building / Photo by Michael Waite
Corson Building is attractive as a venue not only because it’s beautiful but also because it’s small. The alternate wedding has a guest list of around 25 people (parents, siblings, and a few close friends).
I believe it was the great Miss Road Trip that once said, “One of the benefits of a long engagement is the ability to spread out some of those DIY projects that, otherwise, have the potential to stress a bride out.”
I’d like to slightly modify that statement with my own personal experience with DIY projects.
One of the problems of a long engagement is the false sense of security that you have all of this time to finish some of those DIY projects that will, undoubtedly, give you great balls of fiery wedding stress.
Unlike Miss Road Trip, who I give mad props to for all of her DIY prowess, my DIY is normally of the destroy-it-yourself nature. What’s worse is that when I am working on DIY projects I get quickly distracted by—hey, look at that squirrel!
I’ve been trying to sit still long enough to finish a project worthy of an entire post, but woe is me, I only have bits and pieces of wedding projects that are slowly but surely getting finished around the Airplane Hangar.
Exhibit A: DIY centerpiece shopping at IKEA / Personal photo
I consider this a win, as I finally went and bought out the entire stock of my local IKEA’s three-piece cylinder vase set before anyone else got their hands on them. But did I do anything more in terms of staging a pseudo table with all of the elements so I could officially check this off of the list? Hell to the no. Those babies went straight into the closet and I watched some reruns of I Found the Gown.
Alternate title: “We Have 81 Lanterns That Live in Our House.”
Remember when I told you about the venue search and the save-the-date design and I mentioned that the string lights were a driving factor? That began to translate and evolve into a theme for our wedding: light.
When I think about what I want our wedding to be like, light really describes it: both in atmosphere and in tone. I can be a pretty serious person but ultimately I love to laugh, and one of the things I like most about Sparky is that he MAKES me laugh. We’re both silly and it’s wonderful.
The feel of this video is what I’d like to recreate for the wedding. (Plus, I love this song!)
BM Apple Pie and her husband Waffle had an extremely fun wedding. Part of it was watching our good friends get married, but it was also that they had put together an evening that encouraged having a good time.
One of the parts of the wedding that was especially fun was the photo booth. Apple Pie and Waffle used the same photographer that we are (our friend Krista at Love Song Photo). At that time, Krista included a photo booth as part of her wedding package. Unfortunately she was no longer offering it when we booked, for the very good reason that not having one allows her to better focus on taking the photos we want (not complaining!).
We knew we still wanted a photo booth—how could we not when the one at Apple Pie and Waffle’s wedding produced such gems as these? (Alcohol + fun people + photos = good times.)
I’m keeping a list.
A wish list of items that I would get for my wedding “If I had the money, but I don’t and they’re not necessities.”
They’re your usual culprits—videography, fancy shoes, trolley…
And then there’s the list-within-the-wish-list, which basically translates to my Etsy.com “favorites.”
One of these items has jumped out at me more than a few times, and during one of my regularly scheduled Skype sessions with my mom who lives in Pennsylvania, I mentioned it.
Image via Pretty Paris Etsy Shop
…the hand-stamped forks!
You may recall these forks from a fellow bee’s failed and then successful attempt—Miss Panda, props to you for even attempting this. I consider myself to be pretty crafty and enjoy DIY-ing it, but this was one I was not even going to think about trying.
As our special day looms on the horizon, Mr. Palm Tree, MOH Mem and I are busy tying up all kinds of loose ends to get ready for the weekend. Bees like Miss Scepter have written about the day before the day before and I’m here to follow suit. Spoiler Alert: I didn’t get to sleep in and have been on-the-go since about 8:00am. Boy, this shindig and the whole lifetime together thing better be worth it. . .
Please accept my lack of an interesting segue and feast your eyes on All The Things, Palm Tree style:
Many Bees have written about getting their nails did—Mrs. Turkey treated her girls to Nails and a Nosh, Mrs. Boa Constrictor discussed her bold color preference. This girl went to a nail salon in a mall, recommended by a friend, and opted for a gel manicure and pedicure in hopes that the color would last through the wedding AND the honeymoon.
You can’t really tell because of the flash but I do have an accent finger! Some extra sparkle.
Purple is my favorite color and it hasn’t played a single role in our wedding, so I wanted to incorporate it somehow. My fingers and toes are this subtle, shiny shade and I’m super pleased.
(Warning: flower photo-heavy post!)
Last week during my lunch break. Mr. Plane picked me up from work and we went to visit our florist to finally hammer out the details of our wedding day flowers. I’ve mentioned how much I lurve our florist, Tom Thompson, but I haven’t shared much of our flower inspiration yet.
The reason I haven’t talked much about flowers is that up until our visit with Tom Thompson, I really had no idea what I wanted our “floral vision” to be. I spent a nice chunk of time on Pinterest the night before the visit and found some beauties.
One of my rationales for having an insanely long engagement was the idea that I could do many DIY projects and not be rushing to do them at the last minute.
I didn’t really take into account that I am a bit of a procrastinator and thus would still leave projects to do at the last minute anyways, but oh well, live and learn. It seems like I’m not the only one with this problem!
Here are a couple of projects that I’ve put together recently. I wanted to share them with you guys since I’m really proud of how they turned out, but they really aren’t big enough for their own post, so random projects in a row!
1) Thank you banner. Pbear thinks making a gigantic prop for one picture for our thank you cards is silly, but I kind of like it.
I have no idea why the peach photographs so orangey. *sigh*
It’s hard to tell from afar, but the letters have this gorgeous watercolor look to them.