a journey toward non-traditional wedded bliss, with style

Writing Your Own Ceremony August 14, 2009

Over a year ago, I wrote a post outlining my goals for writing our ceremony. Since I love to write and I wanted to make our ceremony as personalized as possible, this was my favorite “project” even though at times it was overwhelming. There was just so much I wanted to express in under 20 minutes. Even though there were still sentences I might have tweaked, Drew and I were both really happy with the result and I thought I would our process with you if you’re also planning to write your own ceremony. So let’s revisit my original goals:

1) Alternative Wedding Blessing – We did end up going with the Apache Wedding Blessing which has a spiritual as opposed to religious message.

2) Interesting Readings – Drew and I both searched until we found something that we found meaningful. I ended up with a passage from The Little Prince, one of my favorite stories, and Drew chose an Ayn Rand reading. If you’re also considering unusual readings you can check out Offbeat Bride, Credit Crunch Bride, or this article for some great ideas. I also checked out from this book from the library which had endless ideas organized with an easy to use index.

3) Personal Vows – After several long discussions, we decided to keep our vows very simple. A lot of couples chose to write their own vows to each other, but we liked the idea of making each other promises we had decided on together. I have a whole post planned on how to write vows so stay tuned!

4) Thank Yous – We also kept this very simple, by trying to express how much we appreciated everyone’s love and support at the beginning of the ceremony. The sentiment here was inspired by the script of a handfasting ceremony.

“Bride and Groom have asked you to be here today because each of you has made a unique and lasting impression on their lives. They know that making the journey took considerable effort for many of you and for this they are grateful. Your support, your friendship, and your love helped to make Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find first themselves – and then each other.”

5) Length – I never got an official statement about what our ceremony clocked in at, but I’m pretty sure it was about twenty minutes. We were ready to party!

If you’d like me to send you a full script of our ceremony (I had some friends who did this for us and it was very helpful when I was brainstorming) just comment below!


Wedding Party Gifts July 6, 2009

Now that the wedding is over, I can finally rave about our wedding party gifts! Not surprisingly they were from Etsy – we knew we wanted something personalized and unique so I spent many happy hours shopping through the many vendors. For my girls I was looking for a piece of jewelry that could be customized with colors, initials, or something for each bridesmaid – Cindy V. had both! I got each girl a jewel cluster necklace in a different color with a tiny initial charm…I couldn’t resist getting one for myself too.


Shopping for the guys was a little trickier at first (isn’t it always?). We had played around with the idea of cufflinks but didn’t find any we liked until I happened upon these awesome ones made out of antique typewriter keys at QA Create. Sold! We got each groomsmen and Drew a set of cufflinks with their initials which they wore on the wedding day. I thought they looked pretty cool against the classic black and white tuxes. I’ll have detail shots from the day up in the near future!


Grid Painting Guestbook March 26, 2009

This is why I love wedding blogs so much. After reading my post on alternative guestbook options, Emilie gave me a link to the most fabulous idea which takes the vague painting by number concept I had to a whole new level. Check these out:


This couple used a grid system and invited each guest to paint a square on the canvas, creating an awesome memento to hang on their wall that doesn’t scream “wedding.” I love it! I’m stuck between this idea and creating a custom coloring book on Blurb with our engagement pictures…too many amazing choices is a good thing! Thanks for sharing Emilie 🙂


Honeymoon in France February 8, 2009

Filed under: honeymoon,wedding planning,weddings — laragale @ 11:54 am
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Originally we had planned a Greek honeymoon. But unfortunately, right about the time when we got serious about booking flights there was that series of riots in Greece that threatened to overthrow the government. This combined with the fact that planning an island-hopping trip in Greece is really difficult since none of the websites seem to be updated, and the ferries are notoriously impossible to schedule, clinched our decision to change plans. Where else in the world could we lay on the beach, drink wine, shop at local markets, visit museums, and immerse ourselves in a new culture?

France was the next obvious choice especially because I speak French (I figure that will help for our first international trip together). We didn’t want the hustle and bustle of an entirely Parisian trip, though, so for the first 9 days we’re renting an apartment in Nice through Riviera Pebbles. Renting an apartment is so much more affordable than I thought it would be, especially when you consider the convenience of having your own kitchen, washing machine, and cute little terrace to sit out and people-watch from. Plus we’re less than a five minute walk from the beach!


From Nice, we’ll take the train to Paris and spend 5 days in a boutique hotel in Montmartre. Some of the touristy things (going up the Eiffel Tower) we’re not interested in, but others (all the museums and Versailles) we are. Really I think we’re most excited to pretend we’re living in another country for a few weeks! Where are you going for your honeymoon?


Buying in Bulk January 25, 2009

I’m not going to lie, when Drew casually mentioned that he wanted us to get a Costco membership I had a brief moment of panic. I stumbled over myself trying to give excuse after excuse (they won’t have enought organic food, how will we possibly store an 80 pound box of toilet paper etc) but my real problem was that a long time ago I filed Costco away in the “only if and when we have kids” segment of my brain. Still, I let Drew drag me along one Sunday afternoon to check it out. I was reasonably sure we wouldn’t find anything, and leave sans membership, with our early 20’s independent pride intact. Of couse I was wrong.

I won’t bore you with tales of all the fabulous organic items we found, the way cheaper energy efficient lightbulbs, or the eco-friendly showerhead we got totally excited about, because this is a wedding blog after all. And after one trip, my mind was already spinning with possibilities

Since we’re having an outdoor rehearsal dinner, I started eyeing up all the pre-prepared catering trays. You could easily cater a whole party or reception pretty economically, with food and booze, all from Costco. Their turkey wraps are pretty delicious, actually. And while we’re on the subject of food, you can definitely save money by filling up welcome bags with snacks and candy you bought in bulk.

Who knew Costco had wedding invitations? They have every type of wedding stationary imaginable, and some of it is dirt cheap. You could also make use of their Photolab to print thank you postcards or create a book of your wedding photos.

Or you could do like this bride, and order flowers from Costco which she says are cheaper than wholesale. I would trust her too, her wedding was so fresh, modern and gorgeous I’ll probably write up a whole feature about it later this week. If you can’t wait, go here to check out the rest of the pictures, they are amazing!


Vintage Jewelry November 28, 2008

I’ve been on the hunt for vintage or vintage inspired jewelry since my dress has a definite 1940s flair. Amanda at VintageGlam turned me on to Ben Amun, which has some absolutely gorgeous pieces (check out her gorgeous earrings on the site) but I’m never one to stop shopping!

I love the idea of finding a parure (matched set of jewelry) since I want earrings and a brooch to wear on my dress. Thanks for the Memories doesn’t have a lot of those, but they do have an absolutely incredible selection of individual pieces that may end up being too tempting for me to resist.

One of the many gorgeous Art Deco brooches.

I love this era of jewelry because it manages to be girly and geometric at the same time.

One end of this pin unscrews so you can wear it in your hat, your clothes, or your hair.

Yay shoe clips!


More Non-Wedding Wedding Dresses October 18, 2008

So far I’ve avoided the urge to be a two dress bride completely, but this gorgeous dress from the Nordstrom catalog almost made me reconsider. And for only $268? Buying a normal evening gown for your wedding dress definitely has it’s perks!

I had to put the picture of the back of this dress, because the origami pleating is so pretty. I also love the soft pale pink color. This dress is $405 at Saks.

This Nicole Miller dress would be so cool at a beach or outdoorsy wedding. From far away the fabric looks like lace, but it’s actually crocheted and beaded. It’s a perfect mixture of classy and crafty for $539 at Bluefly.


Alice in Weddingland March 17, 2008

After seeing the incredible Alice in Wonderland inspiration board from Style Me Pretty, I had to make one of my own. Normally I’m not partial to themed weddings, but Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are high on my list of favorite books, and I really think the whimsical world that Lewis Carroll created lends itself to weddings or parties. Plus, I also happen to be on Spring Break for two weeks so I have lots of free time 🙂

This theme is also one of those rare ones that is easily adaptable for kids or adults, or both at the same time (like the cute party hats I had to include!). My favorite part of the board though, not surprisingly, are the dresses. This Reem Acra dress definitely has a fairy-tale quality, the pale blue color is gorgeous, and I love the bubble hem on the bridesmaid dresses. There is so much more that you could do with this theme, hopefully someone somewhere will have a fantasy wedding like this!



Alice Padrul Gowns March 16, 2008

I’m always on the hunt for unique bridal designers, and I like the light and airy feel of these designs by Alice Padrul. I’m all for dresses that allow you to move easily and not having to worry about tying a bustle would be a perk too!



A little Irish Inspiration

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s day, and because I love all things Irish (except potatoes) I decided to put together some fun elements you could incorporate into your wedding. Whether or not you have Irish heritage, I think adding traditions from other cultures is a good way to mix things up a little and celebrate in a unique style.

  • The Claddagh ring is probably one of the most recognizable Irish symbols. Designed in the 17th century, the hands, heart, and crown were said to represent friendship, love and loyalty and depending on they way you wore it, whether you were single or in a relationship. A Claddagh ring could be an alternative engagement ring, but they can also be given in friendship, so I think they would make a really cute bridesmaid gift. I like this more modern black version:
  • Most grooms probably wouldn’t want to do this unless they were Irish or Scottish, but since I love the look of a guy in a kilt I’m including it anyway. You could even get the whole wedding party in the the fun!
  • It goes without saying that what kind of drinks you serve would be a great way to add a little Irish to your wedding, whether you serve Guinness, Irish coffee, or a martini you make up yourself. This is a Bailey’s martini and looks pretty yummy…
  • If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional wedding ceremony, you could use parts of the Celtic Handfasting ceremony. This tradition is where the phrase “tying the knot” came from, because the couples’ hands were tied together with ribbon.

And of course there are many, many more ideas. If you want more inspiration, the Knot is a good place to start with lots of articles and pictures. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!