a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

The Hotel Columbus August 31, 2008

So far in the wedding planning process, I have dealt with approximately 5,372,298 vendors (at least that’s how it seems), with experiences ranging from fabulous to terrible. Fortunately, the majority have been on the fabulous end of the spectrum, and  the hotel we just booked for our guests is no exception.

At first I was slightly wary because the hotel is right downtown (less than half a mile from the wedding venue), has a great restaurant that serves local and organic food, a gorgeous bar…I thought all this would add up to higher prices than some people might want to pay. When I called, not only was their office incredibly helpful, but we were able to reserve a block of rooms for $109 a night! Having been to a ton of weddings in the past year, this is about as low as you get. We also were assigned an event coordinator who will help us organize out of town bags, the day after brunch, and keep track of who is booking rooms. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped.

looks like a good place for an afterparty to me

can we find an excuse to use this?


A Pink and Orange Reception August 26, 2008

Speaking of Kiso Fotografia, how about these gorgeous pictures of a venue I very nearly chose for our reception, the North Bank Pavilion. The problem or perk with this place, depending on your mindset, is that it comes as an entirely blank slate. It’s just a room. With enormous windows and lots of metal. This bride warmed up the place with bright coral colors and fabulous hanging paper flowers that I am totally in love with. Her pearl beaded headband, which is like a tiara but with a more grown-up vintage vibe is adorable as well.


Fabric Backdrop August 24, 2008

For the last week my mom has been in from Seattle, which has been wonderful because she was able to see in person what she’s only seen in pictures: the venue, the dress, everything. Drew and I are incredibly fortunate in that all of our family members are of the “if it makes you happy, it makes us happy” school of wedding planning, which has been so amazing. My mom loved everything we’ve planned so far, and was very sweet in helping us strategize about 30 different ceremony set-ups at the sculpture garden.

The dilemma (and actually dilemma is the wrong word because I love a challenge) is that because it is a sculpture garden right in the middle of downtown we have a few obstacles to work with. One is the abundance of large sculptures (obviously) that are gorgeous but prevent your typical ceremony set-up. The other is the way that most couples face is in front of a  backdrop including a pretty wrought iron fence, a beautiful historic church and…traffic. I love the urban aspect of our wedding, but I think it just hit me on this visit that a semi roaring past during our vows might be a tad distracting. This is how one fellow CMA bride solved both problems:

photograph by Kiso Fotographia

She draped white fabric over the fence and made a short aisle that turned off to the side when it hit the statue in the center of the garden (you can just see the corner of it in the photo). I think this set-up is gorgeous although rather than white solid fabric I’m considering doing sheer panels…enough to soften the effect of the road, but so you can still see the church. We could have the company that is taking care of our chairs and linens design something, but I almost wonder if something simple like these panels from Target, would work. Has anyone tried something similar?


Wheatgrass Table Decor August 21, 2008

My first experience with wheatgrass was rather traumatic. One of my friend’s extremely health conscious mothers thought that wheatgrass was like Windex in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” – it cures everything. So without any explanation I was handed a shot glass full of pulpy, foamy green liquid and expected to toss it back like a Washington Apple. I could come up with some long and fanciful description of exactly how horrible it tasted, but really, it just tasted exactly like it looked. Green and gross. I’ve heard all about the fantastic health benefits, but since then I’ve avoided wheatgrass like the plague. Until now.

This table decor is chic and fresh without being overdone, mostly thanks to the darling wheatgrass centerpieces. And as long as the wheatgrass stays in the dirt, with no convenient comments like, “I just bought you a juicer, and it’s right over there in that giftbox!” we should be good.


An exit that takes the cake August 20, 2008

This particular double entendre title might not make the most sense, but I’m going to make it work! So without further adieu, the cake from Pennsylvania Wedding Round One. I love the hexagonal layers and the fresh flowers, and despite the bride joking about how “plain” the cake was (her now husband rejects all flavors like double bourbon chocolate raspberry) it tasted great too.

The whole wedding was full of sweet personal touches, like adorable handmade programs and a waltz first dance that the groom choreographed himself. The second wedding we attended had a similar feel, although their exit from the ceremony was pretty much the most awesome thing ever. I give any girl who can climb onto the back of a firetruck in a wedding gown, complete with train, major props!


Out of Town Bags August 14, 2008

The wedding last weekend convinced me that we absolutely should have Out of Town bags for our guests. It was awesome to arrive at the hotel and find a bag full of the essentials for a Pennsylvania wedding: snacks, bottles of water, Advil, a magnetized version of the Steeler’s schedule this year 🙂 The bride even hand-wrote a card for everyone, which was incredibly sweet and much appreciated.

So now that we know we want to use the gift bag idea, all we have to do is figure out a style of bag, and of course what to fill it with. Our goals are simple, 1) give our guests things they’ll use and/or enjoy 2) include items that tie in with our wedding or location in some way and 3) not spend exorbitant amounts of money. As far as bags go, here are a few options I love.

These are adorable, recycled, and fit in with our black and white theme. The only problem is that there is no link for where to find them on the blog where I got the picture, but I’ll keep my eyes peeled…

Apparently these bags are not only cute and customizable with different colors and decals, but very cheap at only $2.61 each.

It’s a much more minimalist look, but I really like the plain brown paper bag and it could be dressed up with ribbon and tissue paper, or even a stamp of your wedding monogram if you wanted to get really fancy.

We’re not getting married in New York, but I think these carton style boxes are totally awesome, and probably at the top of my list right now for cuteness, if not practicality.

For the goodies inside the bag, I was thinking the usual helpful information like directions, a note, fun activities around the area, but also some local treats from both our hometowns. The original plan was to have the wedding in Seattle, but since that didn’t end up being practical since we want all of our friends to be able to come (and let me say for the record, I’m still pissed at Skybus), at least we can give our guests some coffee and smoked salmon right?

What did you include in your Out of Town bags?


Wedding Season Continues August 11, 2008

Back to back weddings in two weeks means lots of ideas are coming as soon as I get a chance to organize all my pictures! This weekend we were in PA for a gorgeous ceremony at Westminster College (the school bells started chiming as soon as they were announced man and wife, which wasn’t even planned) and next weekend we’re back in PA for another stint at the Riverside Inn. Stay tuned for all the details!

Of course since we’re at that time of life, I wasn’t too surprised that almost everyone at the wedding has either just gotten married, is getting married within the next year, or just got engaged. So naturally, anything and everything wedding was the hot topic of conversation, especially among the girls. One of the brides to be mentioned that during her dress shopping, she spent a lot of time looking at Encore Bridal, which has pre-owned couture gowns for more affordable prices. I perused the site for fun, and even though so far resisting the temptation to be a two dress bride has been fairly easy, I could see how some of these gowns would make it much more difficult. I love this limited edition Monique Lhuillier; even though I usually don’t like pick up skirts, the pleating on the bodice looks incredibly flattering and the bold floral print is so unique. If you have your heart set on a couture gown but don’t want to pay boutique prices, this site is worth a look.


Wedding Bands! August 6, 2008

Whenever Drew and I stop by our local indoor/outdoor mall (which incidentally reminds me freakishly of Disneyland), I always get my engagement ring cleaned. This weekend, while we were doing exactly that, we decided to just “look” at wedding bands, which turned into actually picking them out! Drew ended up deciding on a very simple tungsten band, which is perfect for his classic/modern hybrid taste. After trying on approximately half the store’s collection of bands, we decided to get one custom designed for me to match my engagement ring. This picture is somewhat similar to what it will look like, with a curved band so the two rings will fit together. Drew also had the idea to add three yellow sapphires in the center of the band to echo the center stone in my engagement ring, which I love, especially because I think it will be just as pretty worn alone. If you live in the Columbus area, the Diamond Cellar has been incredible to work with, and I can’t say enough about them. They treat us like celebrities every time we come in, and are always willing to price custom designs for you in the store or order in stones to look at free of charge. I can’t wait to wear my ring already!!!


Satin Clutch Sale August 3, 2008

If you changed the wedding rhyme to “something bold, something blue, something fabulous, and something new” this turquoise satin clutch from Hayden-Harnett would take care of all four categories at once. Not only is it oversized, (ie right on trend AND you can can fit all of your wedding day necessities instead of one lipstick and a credit card) but it’s on final clearance for $44. Honestly I would be tempted to wear it with everything!


Our Ceremony – The Saga (part I)

Maybe I’m being a tad overdramatic with this title, but if the research I’ve done so far is any indication, writing our own ceremony entirely from scratch is going to be quite the undertaking. Not that I’m having second thoughts. And not that I mind the time commitment, because for us it was an easy decision to create our own ceremony, being the non-religious, informal, and slightly quirky people that we are.

I have plenty of vague ideas, and we’ve had several in depth talks about what we want the overall feeling of the ceremony to be, and what elements we’d like to include. In no particular order:

1) Possibly some traditions from other cultures, like the Apache wedding blessing (which I love).

2) Interesting readings. I like the idea of Drew and I each picking one, knowing that I’ll probably use something from literature, and he’ll probably choose a quote from philosophy.

3) Personal vows. This isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but Drew and I both agree that we’ll forgo memorizing anything, because neither of us have will have the presence of mind to do anything other than repeat back to the judge when the day is (finally!) here.

4) Some creative way of thanking our family and friends.

5) And the whole shebang in our opinion shouldn’t last longer than about twenty minutes.

So obviously, translating our hodgepodge of ideas into some sort of format that flows is a slightly daunting task, even if it is one I’m very excited about. Has anyone else written their own ceremony? What ideas and/or sources did you use?