Category Archives: Wedding Planning

Etsy deserves it’s own post.

I have bragged and talked on and on about finding random things on Etsy.com and how amazing their vendors are. But SERIOUSLY, I’m dedicating an entire post to the website and each individual vendor that I have worked with on my journey to April 9th, 2011.

I was referred to this fabulous “store” by T. — turns out it is a plethora of people who want to make something special for someone else — and let me tell you what I’m buying there: invitations (well, ALL of my paper goods), a hairpiece I’ll wear to the rehearsal dinner, a necklace (for fun, but WORTHY for a story here), a suitcase, decoration for the venue (O.M.G.), and I’m sure a million more things. Literally.

So, I will start my bragging (and you can click on the names of the shops — I’ve attached the links to their pages!)… first with something not wedding-oriented.

One of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

A friend from work has a necklace that is bent wire/metal that is her name written out, completely. M. and I have been trying to find something comparable for a few months now, and I have found JUST the thing. I found a vendor on Etsy, PianoBenchDesigns, by way of a random search on the website … and I literally couldn’t be happier. This woman is the definition of amazing customer service, and she was a gem to work with! I messaged her asking if she took custom orders and I was so lucky to receive a “yes” reply. She originally made my necklace with a capital “E” and I wasn’t too keen on the way it looked. I asked her to try it with a lower case and that I would pay for the wire that she had originally used. She changed it up, I LOVED it, and she didn’t charge me extra for the wire she didn’t use!! It was sent promptly and the minute I opened it I couldn’t get over how perfect it was. I would recommend this amazing lady to ANYONE who was looking for a custom piece of jewelry …

An example, not mine.

Next: BurlapAndBlue. Now … here is another one that was excited for a custom order and loved every minute of the brainstorming! This shop was amazing as well … very helpful and never pushy. I found a couple of vintage plates in this shop that I adored, and noticed that she attaches candlesticks to the bottom and the piece functions as an antique stand for anything. I asked if she could coordinate to my wedding colors and she immediately went and bought the right colored paint. :] They’ve shipped to my father’s house so I haven’t seen them in person yet (but I have seen pictures!) — I swear it’ll be the first box I open when I’m there again.

Not ours ... but still beautiful.

Another:ModernMuseum. I literally can’t explain how much of a pain I have been when it comes to the design of the paper goods. Z. and I have picked and manipulated every aspect of these things, including RSVP cards and envelopes and address labels, and this woman is outstanding. I am NOT exaggerating … my email count back and forth with her is currently at 46 in the span of 1 month. Outrageous, especially because she hasn’t bitten my head off yet!!  But she has worked so hard to ensure that the tiniest of details match the vibe of the wedding, the color scheme we have chosen, and everything in between. We still aren’t finished, but we are damn close.

What a gorgeous color. hehe 🙂

To close out this post, one of my most favorites: funkiefinds. I can’t spoil one of my most favorite things about the entire wedding, but trust me — it’s incredible. This woman went out of her way to find “things” just for me and my order, customized them just for me, and all for what I would call an extremely reasonable price. Simply amazing to work with.

Needless to say, I’ve had more than a positive experience with all of the vendors that I have worked with on Etsy — rather than an online shopping tool, I view it as a community of people who really are doing what they love and really want to help you find the perfect item for any event. I’m sold. :]

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it’s ALL about “About Love.” today.

If you take a look at this photography company and you aren’t thinking “These are the people that MUST photograph every important moment of my life!”, then you probably don’t follow their work as closely as some. :] And once you check them out, you’ll be chanting the aforementioned line at the top of your lungs.

I am so lucky to have met one of the photographers in high school: T. has changed my life and I’m not sure even SHE understands how much she means to me as a friend, as a newly-wedded wife and role model, as a pseudo-wedding planner/best advice giver, and now (OFFICIALLY!!!!) as a my wedding photographer.

T. has become involved and enveloped in everything she has been passionate about since I’ve known her — I know she has impacted the lives of everyone she has touched, and I’m honored that we were close friends for the time that we were. There is not one person that has met T. that wishes they hadn’t — she is pure genius, full of love and ideas and never one to turn away a friend.

Looking at the photography work she has done with her sister and business partner K., I feel so lucky to have them officially be a part of our wedding day. Nothing else matters to me other than capturing the most perfect moments in the form of pictures, because that is ultimately what lasts the lifetime. I began the photography conversation with my father with this line: “Dad, I would pay any price out of my OWN pocket to have T. and her sister shoot the wedding. To me, photography is non-negotiable and something that shouldn’t be compromised. It is THE most important thing to me, hands down.” I’m not sure if at that moment he was comfortable with the situation or understood my stance on the subject, but he knew I wasn’t budging. :] And he will not regret a penny of the cost when we receive the final product.

Every shoot that I have seen via their BLOG has made me irritated that Z. and I haven’t gone to Arizona yet for our engagement shoot! :] I know, all in good time we’ll begin the capturing of our experience in photos … a media worth a million words. Check out some of my favorite photos of theirs — I’ve linked the blog entries to the pictures if you’d like to see more:

Grad. Shoot -- But could totally be an Engagement Pic.

Straight beautiful.

Recent wedding, with the same color scheme. Must have good taste. 🙂

Ad. Enough said. 🙂

I really can’t say enough good things about T. and I’m absolutely sure her sister is equally as kind and loving. If you are getting married, or want a fun collection of photographs with a best friend or pictures of your newborn,  there is no one else I would recommend for photography. The proof is right before your eyes — About Love is the epitome of pure artistry.

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Oh, Nights — You have stolen my life.

I’ve been on 3rd shift coming up on 3 weeks now, so my apologies for not updating so often — I can’t wait to have my afternoons back to work on some wedding details! I feel as though I have been depriving the wedding details of any and all of my attention … this weekend I’ll be sure to post some pictures [a lot]. Z. is gone to Virginia to visit his best friend, so Sergeant and I will have plenty of time to sunbathe and work on some DIY projects.

Although I haven’t been working on the details myself, there are definitely some people that I have found and have put to work. Let me tell you all once AGAIN, Etsy.com is my save haven, my saving grace … quite possibly my wedding planner. I have found the most amazing wedding “suppliers” (if you will), and in the process have purchased a couple of gems for myself. I have outstanding women working on personalized wedding invitations, cake/cupcake stands for the cake/sweets tables, and a gazillion empty picture frames that will be painted and antiqued to match my color scheme for the wedding. I also stumbled across a Tiffany-blue hair comb composed of crystals, old lace and satin — I’m looking for a dress that compliments it well to wear to the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

My sister/MOH stumbled across a million more gems at the antique store in Cottonwood — I’ve got to make my way there ASAP! There are DOORS (AAHHHHHH!!!!!!!), windows, old bread boxes, furniture, and the list goes on and on. I’ve posted a few of my favorites below: no one get any ideas.

Not too sure what I could use this for, but I love it.

These look a little short - I wish they were tall enough to be Bride and Groom chairs.

E

DOORS!!! Enough said.

WINDOWS!!!

Maybe I could paint this yellow?

I do have a rather important update — haha, mainly for M., one of my bridesmaids. Z. and I have officially chosen our officiant (RIGHT?!?!?!?!?!?!) :]. Some of you may remember the update: the decision to choose to have my priest from home perform the ceremony, a Justice of the Peace, or a friend of mine from Bakersfield that I met at Dreyer’s who actually just left the company to be a Preacher at his very own church. S. has officially offered, and I have graciously accepted; he will be the most perfect officiant, keeping the mood light and laid-back, while still meaningful and special and loving. I just can’t hold it in though — I’m stoked.

Things are slowly falling into place. Once Z. and I have another trip planned to AZ we’ll be booking tastings with caterers, the bakery and we’ll most likely meet with the florist (maybe). Even though I haven’t been working on this too terribly much, I’m pretty relaxed.

Simply enjoying the engagement — advice I’ve received from many brides. Well, that and practicing my new signature.

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Update: Wedding!!

Since it has been a while since I have posted about anything, I thought a little update for those of you who are curious is in order.

Not many things have changed — the biggie was the date, announced in the last post (Official date is now April 9th, 2011). Since then, not too many big things have been happening. I, of course, have managed to save about one hundred more pictures for ideas to both the desktops of my Mac at home and my Dell at work, and as much as I would love to share them all with you, I’d like there to be some element of surprise when you walk into Bentley on that fine, Saturday evening.

Slowly, but surely, everything is coming together. I am in contact with someone on Etsy.com (OMG … if you are not a fan and do not have an account, watch out. It’s addicting) with regards to some stunning and simple wedding invitation sets, which is my next big one to tackle. I’ve requested paper samples from a few vendors and have asked my bridesmaids what they like and believe captures the vision that I am yearning for, and with everyone’s feedback — it would be like me to fall in love, I mean L.O.V.E. with one that not very many of the ladies picked out. :] But it’s my day, right??

Another biggie is photography — in the process of knocking out the kinks, but my next post (hopefully we’ll have deposits down by then) will be all about one of the most amazing women I know and how her passion will capture every little detail of my wedding day. Although we have drifted apart over the last few years, the proof is in the pudding; there is no one else that I trust with such an important day in my life. Literally. I can’t say enough good … you just wait.

Flower proposals have been discussed and we are pretty much a “go” on that, other than the deposit — just needs to be run by Papa Hayes. I have had a recommendation for cupcakes, so hopefully my next weekend in Arizona I will be able to schedule the tasting, along with two caterers that I have been talking with. DJ is still in the air (hey, if you have any suggestions or referrals, please leave contact information!!), along with makeup, hair, bridesmaid dresses, as well as the possibility of a videographer.

Another fun detail — the officiant. I have been back and forth about who I would love to perform the ceremony, particularly between the priest from my hometown church that had been with us for a couple of years before I left for college, and a GREAT friend that I have made here in Bakersfield at work that is actually ordained and has just left Dreyer’s to move and preach at his very own church. To go with the theme and the feel that I want — fun, laid-back, celebrating all the family and friends that have been such an amazing part of our lives — my heart says that my friend is the key, the icing on the cake. As my officemate, he has been hilarious, passionate, and truly a friend that cares about my well being and happiness. I mean, I was engaged for a month before he left us — so he got a month full of wedding questions thrown at him :] . I’ll be asking him for a quote tomorrow.

The details are coming together, even from 500 miles away. But more importantly, I have been astounded by the amount of help that family and friends have offered to us. I feel so blessed to have so many people that are willing to spend their time and hard-earned cash to help me with such little things that in the end, won’t really matter. But it’s the love that is being shared, and their willingness to help make this the utmost perfect day for Z and me literally brings tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for being born into my most perfectly imperfect family that is full of love and faith, my friends that have been there for me every step of the way, and as equally important = the amazing family that I will soon be marrying into. H. (Z’s brother) was the most excited to be Z’s best man, more excited than anyone else in the wedding party. Z’s mother and father have graciously offered their help with my dream of some sort of yellow furniture “alter” for the ceremony — a vintage piece that they want to restore and give to us to keep as a part of our home thereafter.

As much as I was stressed in the beginning about everything being perfect, I know that it won’t be. And that is okay. :]

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Venue is Booked. Date is set.

It is official: the deposit has been placed on Bentley Projects for April 9th, 2011. No turning back now. :]

Exterior -- Click for Website

Inside!!

I had a sense of relief when I purchased my gown, but nothing like this.  I used to sit and watch tv with Z. and say to myself “Emma, there are so many little things you could be doing right now in regards to wedding planning” and feel guilty for not committing 100% and spending time not planning the day I’ve been dreaming about for years.

I am now ready to sit and relax and enjoy this planning with no enormous deadlines looming overhead (photographer has been unofficially booked, awaiting deposit time line). I can sit during our weekly “Hell’s Kitchen” episode and tie ribbon around jars and feel as though I am working on the little details that will make it so unique and whatnot — brainstorm new and fresh ideas and love doing it.

Tuesday I had one of my bridesmaids, Ji., visit both MonOrchid and Bentley Projects for another opinion. Let me tell you — she may have been more excited than I was. :] She completely fell in love and agrees that it captures everything that I told her I want April 9th to be — and it’s exactly what I wanted to hear, and Z. is probably glad that we’ve come to a decision. The reaffirmation was overwhelming as I drove home from work and held back tears, listening to her and her vision and ideas come to life after seeing the space.

I’ve let the photographer know that the date is set, so those ideas and contracts and details are in the works — be ready for a post about one of the most amazing females that I know and her photography business with her sister. There is no one else in the world that I’d rather have photograph my wedding.

I’m stoked. Right now, I wish April 9th was tomorrow (okay, maybe not literally). ;]

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Bridesmaids, Anyone?

I am awaiting cards to formally ask my ladies to be my bridesmaids — I cannot help but to update my opinion on their dresses.

For the sake of slightly/sort of matching aspects of my dress and the groomsmen, I’ve taken a liking to grey dresses. I know, grey isn’t necessarily your typical color for a bridesmaid dress … but check out some of the pictures below.

3-Toned in the top-right corner.

I am TOTALLY digging the 3-toned dress at the top of the inspiration board. The cream at the top should compliment the skin tones of all of my bridesmaids and would lessen the stress about specific shades being too harsh. The yellow at the waist will not only emphasize the natural waists of the girls, but also tie beautifully into the yellow accents that the boys will be sporting — and the grey is beautiful. The dress is elegant and sophisticated. And a bright yellow shoe would match perfectly.

Patterns and textures.

New idea: patterns. I LOVE the pictures and the way that the wedding party almost looks like a quilt — hand-sewn and just “patched” together. The different yellows and patterns create great contrast and would compliment any shade or texture used in decoration. And there would be less stress on all the ladies finding one dress that compliments all of their body types and personal styles, although I’d still prefer to have one thing that ties everyone together so we don’t look too hodge podge-y.

All grey.

This all-grey dress is gorgeous. I’m not too sure how I feel about the seams on the chest, and I was thinking of something a little less poofy.

I’m still loving my yellow picks from Dessy.com and C.  and the troops found some of the styles at a bridal boutique that we were at last weekend, but we aren’t too sure about the shades of yellow and what fabric options are available. Any suggestions??

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DIY Projects

And the DIY projects begin.

I am going to try my best to avoid flower centerpieces at all costs – I’ve never been too into flowers anyway, and usually would request chocolate from a boyfriend. I just can’t ever seem to justify spending so much money on something that dies rather quickly. Friends have been saving baby food jars and I have been soaking the labels off and will be wrapping them in lace and ribbon and twine this weekend to see if it will be perfect for holding tealights. Hopefully it doesn’t look too cheesy … :]

I’ve bookmarked so many websites and saved so many pictures of DIY projects that I want to try and replicate, so many that I think it’s a little much. Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to have an excuse for my creativity because my Bako friends know how crazy I get (wine bottles, garden signs?!? Really?!?).

But it’s an outlet, and what better time to really make something your own. And what better time for YOU to give some input – any DIY projects that you’ve seen that are new and fresh?? I need some guidance!!

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