Last November Sparky and I went to a charity wedding event. We’d gone to a couple of events, but this was the first one that was entirely for charity. This was something we were really excited about—getting wedding vendors we needed AND donating money was kind of wonderful.
Sparky with a mighty fine mustache / Personal photo
Get Hitched Give Hope (also mentioned two times by Mrs. Cherry Pie!) was part silent auction and part live auction. The proceeds for this event went to the Dream Foundation, which is like the Make a Wish but for adults. The beautiful thing about the evening was that the founder for the charity was there and he told a moving story about his husband who passed away and how he wanted to make his last months super meaningful.
I decided to give you a break from looking at my face for a while (after I inundated you with my engagement photos). Instead, I’ll talk to you about shoes again!
I mentioned previously that I was thinking about creating a pair of hand-painted Toms. I was a bit nervous about doing it myself because Toms are not exactly the least expensive shoe around.
I took some time to think about what I was hoping for and to sketch it out.
I traced the shoe and sketched what the top looks like.
I went with a Moroccan pattern because I thought it was simple but fun. I found the pattern through a Google image search, printed it on card stock, and cut out the pattern to make a stencil.
Once I was happy with how it looked on paper, I used a pencil and traced the pattern onto the shoe using my stencil.
I feel like this post should be titled something like “LOOK AT ME. I HAVE TONS OF PICTURES OF MYSELF AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THEM.” I mean, I know it was really helpful for me to look at other people’s engagement photos to know what I wanted and what I didn’t, but I still feel a bit weird posting all of these photos of myself…
That being said, “LOOK AT ME! I HAVE TONS OF PICTURES OF MYSELF (AND SPARKY) AND YOU SHOULD LOOK AT THEM!”
(*cough*) I mean—please take a look at our engagement photos to help you plan your own engagement sessions…
All following photos by Love Song Photo.
We started in the Queen Anne neighborhood in Seattle, in a little park called Parsons Garden.
Pretending like we like each other or something…
From there, we wandered out into the neighborhood.
Some topics surrounding weddings are touchy and uncomfortable. Almost inevitably there is a chance for hurt feelings. In my last post, I talked about one (weight). But there is one topic that comes up fairly often in wedding planning for a lot of couples that can be even more uncomfortable: inviting an ex to a wedding.
Why invite a failed relationship to come see a successful one? That would be like inviting the Seattle Mariners to the World Series. That’d just be awkward for everyone.” – Marshall on How I Met Your Mother
Unrelated, but hilarious image from How I Met Your Mother via Last.fm
Note: This post is entirely about my thoughts and opinions. You are welcome to disagree! Please do so in a respectful manner, however. Weight is a touchy subject!
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about wanting to lose weight for their wedding. I think this is great if it helps improve their self-esteem and general pride in themselves. That being said, I don’t think losing weight for a wedding is sustainable.
I don’t know why you’d want to weigh yourself in a wedding dress…those suckers are HEAVY! / Image via Brides.com
If you lose weight and use your wedding as a marker for a milestone of healthy changes: awesome. If you use it as your be-all-end-all, that makes me less happy.
Weight loss entails change. For some this is a diet change or an exercise change or both. But if your goal is weight loss and weight loss only and you stop trying once you pass your marker, chances are you’ll revert to old habits.
Realistically speaking (typing?), I should be working on my graduate project or possibly reviewing videos of me doing therapy with my clients. Instead, I’ve decided to talk to you about flowers!
I knew from the very beginning that flowers weren’t something I was super attached to as wedding decorations. When it comes to Sparky, his described interest is “As little as you care, I’m about 5% of that.” So it’s not something we’ve been too hung up on.
That being said, I knew that we would have some flowers. I couldn’t imagine walking down the aisle without a bouquet, and I think a tux without a boutonniere wouldn’t look quite right at a wedding.
Being a researcher by trade, I put a lot of time into reading reviews and looking at portfolios of various florists. Having done that, I decided on the florist I was most interested in and then promptly set it aside. (This was done last February, probably.) Fast forward past the year mark and my Knot checklist suggests “set up appointments with florists to discuss options.” Uh, yeah. I should do that.
Before I got in touch with the florist I had found, I asked BM Apple Pie who did the flowers at her wedding. Lo and behold, she used the same florist. Sold.
We went to the meeting with Wendy of Ravenna Bloom with iPhones in hand. Sparky didn’t have any strong opinions, so I used my inspiration board to talk about what I was thinking. Basically what I said: Anemones, pops of blue, edible components, texture, and a smallish bouquet (no hiding behind flowers for me!).
So…my inspiration? Click through!
I love that this bouquet has anemones. They are my favorite, and really the only flower that jumped out when I was looking at bridal bouquets. I love the different white/white colors and textures, too. Plus, the gray brunia berries are really rocking my world. If this is what my bouquet ends up looking like I would be very happy.
When we were getting ready for our engagement photo shoot (which was included in our wedding photography package), I spent a long time thinking about what outfits we were going to wear. Sparky was more than happy to let me pick (and tell him what to wear), so I was not only thinking about myself but him as well. I wanted our outfits to be cohesive, but not matching, and I was hoping to wear things we already owned. (I mean, don’t get me wrong, I would have been perfectly happy going shopping for new outfits but that seemed…irresponsible? Or maybe I was just lazy.)
We planned to shoot at three different locations around Seattle, so I wanted to change it up at each location. Before I made any final decisions, I put together inspiration boards and sent it over to our photographer for approval. Her response back was “I don’t think you can go wrong with these and also I want to go shopping.” Then she suggested we finish our session with a snack or a cocktail somewhere since she knows we’re foodies. Krista, in case you are wondering, is a woman after my own heart.
One of the locations is a park, with lots of cool areas and water views. That is our casual portion.
It’s easy during wedding planning to get entirely caught up in the day and not think about the lifetime that follows. It’s interesting to think that so much attention gets paid to the party and not what happens afterward.
Relationships grow and change, just like the people in them. I think this is a large reason why people who get married really young have higher rates of divorce. According to the National Center for Health Statistics 60% of marriages for couples between 20 and 25 end in divorce (it drops to the national average of 50% for 25 and older). That high rate is really sad. (It’s even higher for second marriages—65% end in divorce according to my counseling exam study materials.)
I am very cognizant of my relationship with Sparky and putting effort into making it work. A large part of this awareness comes from my own family: my dad is on his fifth marriage and my mom has been married twice. I want this marriage to be my only one, and Sparky feels the same. (Lucky him, his parents are still happily married. It’s amazing!).
Image via Someecards
Since we were on the topic of shoes in my last post…
Most people who have spent some time with me (and most definitely if they have been shopping with me or even just looked in my closet) know that I love shoes. (I know that I’m not the only one, right? Right?!) This, of course, meant that finding shoes for the wedding was going to be a fun and important process.
Personal photo of my favorite pair of shoes
One thing that holds me back on shoes is that I have a bad knee, which makes high heels a problem for long wear. I knew I wanted heels for the ceremony and pictures, but I also knew that it wasn’t realistic for me to wear heels for the whole day.
One of my bridesmaids had a thing on her personal blog for a while where she would pick a shoe that reminded her of a specific friend and explain why the shoe was representative of the friend. I always thought this was a neat idea.
Since I’ve spent a goodly amount of time looking at shoes in order to put together what I’d like to look like on our wedding day*, it has given me ample opportunity to find shoes that remind me of my bridesmaids.
So, without further ado, introducing the bridal party with shoes!
Maid Of Honor Tart has been my friend since I was five years old. I was originally better friends with her older sister (Tart is two years younger than I am), but over the years I grew closer and closer to Tart. Tart understands me better than most people and has been there for me through thick and thin. She’s practical but fun and (like this all around adorable shoe) is great to have in many different situations. This shoe especially reminds me of her because her favorite color is pink.
Before we got engaged, we knew there were a couple of vendors who we would want to hire for our hypothetical (now very real) wedding. We are lucky to have some good friends who are or have been involved in weddings before.
The first one we knew: our photographer. One of our friends is an amazing photographer. She shot our friends’ wedding and all of the pictures were gorgeous.
BM Apple Pie and her husband Waffle at their wedding / Photos by Love Song Photo
The second one we knew: our cake baker. BM Hot Buns has an amazing side business: she bakes. Her cakes are beautiful AND delicious. An important combination!
For those of you following along at home, you’ll note that we’re having a fairly long engagement (600-plus days, in fact). While this has been great for giving us plenty of time to plan, it also means that we have time to find things we like, buy them, and then decide we don’t like them anymore. (We’ve had something like that happen with our invitations, but that’s a story for another time.)
One of the things that has been the hardest is that I have all of these fun wedding-related things that I want to do but need to space them out to make sure I *really* want to do them. (Also, you know, to make sure I have time to do my homework and study, and blah blah blah.) The craft I’m going to share with you today was something that I knew I wanted from the second I first saw it.
Meet the wine cork letters:
From Miss Fairy
Sparky and I really love to drink wine. It’s something we’ve done together for as long as we’ve been dating and even before that from when we were friends. Incorporating something like this into our wedding seemed only natural.
When it came time to decide on our venue, we had two front-runners. They were vastly different in a lot of ways and yet similar, too.
Our second-choice venue was Hollywood Schoolhouse. The space was beautiful, it had a place for indoor and outdoor ceremonies (though we probably would have just gone with an indoor ceremony to be safe), and it just had a wonderful feel about it. The price was great, too.
Hollywood Schoolhouse—so cute! / Image via History Link by Phil Dougherty
But there were some things that didn’t work for us. One was that we weren’t able to taste the food before booking—a big deal to us since we both really care about food.
Another important factor for us was that the venue was in Woodinville and there is exactly one hotel really close by and it is EXPENSIVE. The hotel is great but wouldn’t be something we’d really want to suggest for our guests. The closest hotels beyond that one are in Redmond and Bellevue, both relatively close but not THAT close. Plus since a lot of our guests are coming from out of town, proximity to Seattle proper is important for people playing tourist.
In my last post I told you about all the venues we did check out. Before I tell you which one we chose I want to talk a little bit about venues we loved that we didn’t visit.
First up: Court in the Square.
Image via Kristen Honeycutt
We both love the way Court in the Square looks. We love how it feels. But we didn’t even visit it. Why? Because the wedding coordinator has been documented as a flake. As in, doesn’t return phone calls in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Knowing myself well, I knew this would stress me out to no end. So we skipped it.
The next “could have been” was the Clise Mansion.
Like many of you out there who have planned a wedding or are planning one, one of the first things we did after getting engaged was to schedule appointments to look at venues. (The night of our engagement, I thought about colors. The next day I thought about venues.) We had a vague idea that we were going to shoot for September 2013. It never occurred to me to wait until closer to the wedding to look. I was excited and I wanted to start right away!
Full disclosure: I have to admit that I went into the venue search having done a bunch of research already. After 4.5 years, I was ready for Sparky to pop the question. (I know I’m not alone in this, but I do feel a little embarrassed!) After we got engaged, I ran my suggestions by him and we got started.
The first place we checked out ( a week after getting engaged) was Melrose Market Studios. They had just opened and I thought that they looked pretty awesome.
They had a lot of great features, including the midnight-to-midnight rental time and low price, but they were a bit too blank slate for us.