Thursday, July 16, 2009

tying it all together - volume 1

i've been to a lot of weddings in my time. roughly 72 in the past decade alone. i've been to weddings that cost the bride's family hundreds of thousands of dollars. i've been to weddings that took place in government offices. i've seen fountains of expensive, well-designed floral pieces. i've seen bouquets of wildflowers hand-picked that morning. i've seen brides freak out over the tiniest inconvenience. i've seen terrible things happen + watched brides laugh them off as no big deal.

my favorite weddings, though, have usually been the ones that are full of things that show the personality, the journey of the bride + groom. the ones where ingenuity + originality, rather than one's now-empty pocketbook is on display.
one of the things we are determined to avoid in our wedding is the tendency to spend tons of money on things that look pretty, but have no emotional or symbolic connection to our relationship. we've scrapped everything that felt like an expected motif or rote tradition + tried to incorporate things that felt like us.

we've entered the "fun" stage of the wedding planning. the invitations are mailed, the bridal party accounted for, the dress + suit purchased + fitted... now it's just the details. i adore details. + so, i thought i might clue you all in a little...

the color scheme: ivory-champagne-caramel-chocolate brown-black...

we want the wedding to feel like the well-worn pages of favorite volume of old poetry, or a sepia-toned photograph of a long-lost relative. rich + warm. faded + comfortable.

we've chosen this palette not for the look alone, but because we wanted to incorporate the feeling of history. i'm wearing tim's great-grandmother's wedding ring. it's been in the family since 1910. we're both interested in the roots of things. much of our time together has been spent whiling away the hours in 37-room bookstores, dusty map shops, historical museums. we love to go visit with our grandparents, to listen to their stories + the stories of those who went before them.

my dress is ivory. tim is wearing a black suit, ivory shirt + tie. the honor corps will be in black: the women in black dresses of their choosing with a wrap in varying shades of the spectrum listed above, the men in black suits of their choosing, black shirt + a tie in varying shades of the same spectrum. the only stipulation for attire (aside from the primary color: black) is that the honor corps member choose something that he or she would actually wear again.

i've purchased some pretty radical shoes. bright red satin slides. they look like something from the forties. i just completely love them. they don't exactly match the color scheme, but i couldn't be all wedding-y about the shoes. i just couldn't.

we've already covered the topic of hairstyle in a previous post. so i won't go there again. i guess the next thing to cover would be the ceremony space + all other elements therein.

we're getting married at hope presbyterian church in richfield, minnesota.

we'll have the main aisle roped off with ribbon + little paper birds made from antique sheet music, old buttons (that a sweet lady i met on craigslist mailed me for free) + twine.
i saw this idea of using flower petals to make a pattern up the aisle. loads of flower petals can get expensive, though. my thought was, "hey... let's make confetti from old books + use that instead!" reduce. reuse. repurpose. recycle. confetti is easier to clean up, too. i'm thinking big confetti... a la ticker-tape parade. about an inch wide + 2 inches long.

we will be using books in several ways: the ring "pillow" will be a stack of books (each significant in its own right -- a family bible, the book tim used to propose to me, a journal i've kept since childhood, etc.) tied together with ribbon. we'll use piles of books around the stage as foundations for candles, jars of flowers + the like.

as for the ceremony itself, we'll be doing things a little differently. we want to keep it short. 30 minutes max. i will walk myself down the aisle + my parents will be waiting at the end of it to give us their blessing. there will be no unity candle, though we will take communion together. grandma joyce will play a hymn during communion. there will not be the usual scripture reading. rather, rachel heaner (sister of the groom) will read an excerpt from one of our favorite books. we will use the traditional vows -- there's just something so holy + solemn that is missing without them -- as well as some that we write ourselves. the songs that we've chosen for the processional + recessional are far from traditional... so, uhhm... prepare yourselves.

tim + i wrote (+ continue to write) literally hundreds of letters to each other while we were dating. i have a box full of them in my bedroom. i saw this idea for programs that looked like telegrams + thought it was spectacular. it didn't really fit with our theme, nor did it have any real connection to either of us. but it started me thinking of the letters we wrote. i decided to incorporate the idea of written correspondence into the wedding by making the ceremony programs look like letters written from tim to me + vice versa. (i'm so excited about this! can't wait to make them.)

okay... enough detail for now. more next week.


  1. amazing! truly amazing! I am still hoping to make it, though it is starting to look a little bleak. I loved the invitation. I think I will consider this to be the most desired wedding I have ever wanted to attend aside from of course my own! Old Navy has been calling my name but I refuse to even look, I'm saving my dollars to buy a plane ticket, hotel room and a weekend babysitter since that is Ethan's working weekend. Keep your fingers crossed, there is still just over a month for a miracle to happen! I miss you and I love you and I am so very excited for you!