Monday, December 29, 2008

Wedding Recap: The Trash Your Dress Before the Wedding Part

So after we took a bunch of nice portraits by the old motels and theaters, P really wanted a few shots by the brick of the old steel mill. As we walked down the street to get there, we were passed by a group of guys skateboarding.
The first few started out all innocent and clean...
But then P. spotted the forklift. At which point I had to make the decision every bride has to make at some point on her wedding I care if my dress is covered in grease and exhaust stains before the ceremony even starts?

We were all a little bit starving and loopy at that point, so the answer was no, I didn't care. So onto the forklift it was...

It's amazing how photogenic heavy machinery is.

Then someone suggested we all hop into this big metal bin that was sitting outside. Again, not the cleanest place to be in a big white dress.
My dress stayed surprisingly unharmed in this process, though getting out of the bin was an interesting moment. I'm really short and the bin was fairly tall, so P. was attempting to help me out.
From that angle, not so bad. It looks like he's trying to grab my butt a little, but nothing seriously ridiculous.

And then there's this...
Not only does it look a bit...dirty (or something0...he also looks like he's going to drop me.

See. Ridiculous!
Up next, we ride the rails...

Saturday, December 20, 2008


A big thank you hug to Green Wedding Shoes for featuring our wedding today!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Due to the cold weather, my rings are not fitting quite right these days. I think I need to eat more holiday cookies and things to make up for the cold weather shrinkage, because last night my engagement ring was lost in a pile of fabric I'd been digging through while I frantically ran around the house searching for it.

That got me to thinking that I never posted anything about our rings.

My engagement ring was a collaborative effort. Our engagement wasn't a big surprise, so while we originally tired to have him pick out the ring without me, after a few weeks of him in a confused panic, I assured him that I didn't care and we worked on it together. Our budget for my ring was along the lines of the lower the better. No more than $1000. Which doesn't get you a whole lot in terms of traditional e-rings. I knew I wanted vintage, both for the looks and because I didn't want any new Congolese to loose their hands over my ring.

After searching far and wide we finally found my ring in a watch repair shop. It was $250, white gold with a few diamonds, and I've since learned was essentially mass produced during WWII so that army men could propose before leaving for war.
I'm not generally into the army or mass production, but as part of the storyline of my vintage ring it's sort of romantic and sweet.
I really liked the floral shape of the top.

Finding a vintage band to match my ring turned out to be an ordeal. It seems that most of these rings were fused to the band after the wedding, and I couldn't hardly any that were separate, reasonably priced, and looked like what I was going for.

In the meantime, finding my husband's band was easy. After a few searches around Etsy, we found Ash Hilton. Ash is the sweetest, most helpful, charming, lovely artist I've worked with on Etsy. I almost gave up vintage and matching had him make me a band too, but I have short tiny fingers and his designs don't really work on a thin band.

His work is made with ethical metals, his designs are based on the plants of New Zealand (though he will work with plants you love if you have an idea, and have I mentioned that he's really nice? He originally shipped us the wrong ring, and we almost considered keeping it because the design was so amazing. But we sent it back and got P's ring, which he loves.
It's two curly plants loving on each other.

Following in family tradition, his ring is sterling silver. All the men in both of our families wear sterling silver rings so they get all scratched and beat up looking. I think his ring ended up being somewhere around $100-150.

Ultimately my wedding band was purchased out of laziness and reaching the end of my rope with wedding planning. I like it, but I have to admit that it's not all that comfortable, so I can't say I love it. I had it designed by Ellie at Greenlake Jewelry Works based out of Seattle. They have a great online design process where you show them things you like and they create sketches and work with you to find something you like. They also use ethical stones.
LinkLike I said, I like it. I don't love it. And it wasn't cheap (around $900). If I hadn't been so stressed out about finding a ring before the wedding (along with the 100 other things I had to do before the wedding) I probably would have waited. In a moment of stress I actually almost bought a $2000+ Van Craeynest ring, but when I called they were so mean that I backed out (thank god).

The moral of this story is that while I love beautiful vintage engagement rings, and could have easily spent thousands of dollars on fancy sparkly things, you work with your budget, figure out what makes sense for your situation, and that ultimately our cheap rings are our favorites.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wedding Recap: the arts

After walking by the old motels, we went further downtown to the area Redding is actively trying to revitalize.

Here I am trying to emulate the crazy dance moves Shiva is doing in front of the Redding Arts building...
For those of you wondering why Siva only has 2 arms, it's because people in Redding can be idiots. They decided that a multi-limbed Hindu statue violated separation of church and state lopped off her extra arms.

Then we went on to the Cascade. When I was in high school this was the budget movie theater, but it was since purchased by Jefferson Public Radio (NPR) and now has great acts come through it.

They were setting up for the annual beer & wine festival on the street so there were people everywhere staring at us.

I love this picture of all of us...

Hanging out while other people are taking pictures...

Thursday, December 11, 2008


This is sort of embarrassing, but P. and I haven't done our thank you cards yet. We have excuses, but really there is no excuse. Even more embarrassing, is that we are now combining our thank you's with our holiday cards. Miss Manners would not approve.

The next two days are packed, but Saturday is sit down and write the damn things day. We have a holiday party to go to that night, and I'm banning myself from attendance unless I get the things done.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wedding Recap: Hotel, Motel...

After we'd gotten a good look at each other, our whole crew of people walked around downtown Redding. For those of you not familiar with Redding, the downtown is a little...slow. It's picking up, but it's had a dry spell for the last fifty years or so, leaving some old motels P. and I love (to look at. We're too afraid to actually stay in one).

We started out at the Stardust Motel...

And then went down the strip, which produced some of these gems...
Who doesn't want a safety cone wedding picture? Add it to your must take list.

Our entourage. Looking very badass.

The music video shot.

This last one isn't that exciting of a picture, but the sign is just too amazing to leave out...

While there were more posed pictures in these locations, the real fun of this was just walking around. Having people honk at and congratulate us. Since our wedding was in a relatively rural location, this was our version of getting to do a parade-like walk from the ceremony to reception.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wedding Recap: How Revealing

While not a whole lot of wedding tradition was important to P. and me, at some point we decided that P. would not see my dress before the wedding. Actually, while I was changing my mind about it on a weekly basis I attempted to show him, to get his opinion, and he wanted nothing to do with it.

But, since we knew we were going to see each other before the actual ceremony, our photographer suggested we do a reveal shot. Prior to that day we had big plans for doing it somewhere more exciting, but since the men were running late we got lazy and just went out front of the B&B.

What you can't see in this picture is that our friends were standing off to the left of the camera, laughing at us.
Sneaking up on him (though not really...I'm a very noisy walker).

At that point we basically started making out.
I think our photographer said something like "Don't you want to check each other out?" Oh, right.
Examining the eBay purchased suspenders that I ordered but didn't arrive until that day!

And then back to lovey eyes and making out...

Up next: We all romp around town in our wedding gear.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Recently Ariel on Offbeat Bride wrote about the fake mustache trend at weddings. I have to say that I fell victim to it. Although, at the time I didn't know it was a wedding trend. I just saw a fake mustache on etsy and thought "Hey, I can make that and wouldn't they be cute at the wedding." Plus, we were doing a photobooth with costumes, so I assumed they'd be put to good use there. In fact, I'd bet that the fake mustache trend is pretty in sync with the photobooth trend. But who cares? They're both fun and I don't regret either one.

My sister twirling the tips of one of the mustaches I made.

I also ended up buying a few cheap mustaches from a local party store. They were under $1 each, and while you had to stick them in your nose to wear them, people weren't as grossed out about that as I assumed they would be.

My husband in one of the handmade ones, and me with a mustache stuck in my nose.

So maybe I'm trendy and unoriginal. But people had fun with their faux facial hair at my wedding, and years from now I bet nobody will remember that mustaches at weddings were marginally trendy for some period of time.

More mustache pictures here.

Wedding Recap: Getting ready.

If you'd like to refresh your memory (since it's been about two months), I started my recap back here.

For a variety of reasons, my husband and I decided to stay together the night before our wedding. We live together, our friends were staying in the same B&B with us, I can't really sleep without him, etc. So the morning of our wedding, we woke up together and went downstairs to the amazing breakfast our innkeeper had prepared. Our friends were already chowing down on bread pudding, bacon, and other treats, so we joined them and fueled up. As much as I tried, I didn't really eat much the rest of the day, so the huge breakfast was a very, very good thing.

After breakfast Summer, our mistress of hair, arrived. Not soon after, our photographers, Bradford & Mia Shepherd, came in and started snapping away.

Prior to these guys showing up I don't think it had really hit me that it was The Day. But having people fawn over you and take pictures of everything you do is really out of my norm, and while I wasn't nervous, it took me to a more serious place. At least until we broke out the champagne.

Don't knock canned champagne until you've tried it. They are like juice boxes for grown ups. And the champagne/sparkling wine in them isn't bad.

My brideswomen drank it up, while I sat around looking serious. I was mostly nervous about my vows. I'm terrified of public speaking, and I didn't particularly want to read something personal I'd written in front of a large group of people. On the other hand, I wanted to hear P. to say nice things about me. So this is me trying to focus on deep breathing and not being stressed about it all day.

I swear this picture wasn't set up. Our friend pulled it off the bed and stuck it there the night before. I didn't realize it was still there until I saw this picture. It's fitting though!
Once the booze kicked in we decided to start with our makeup. The downstairs room we were using for hair was deemed unfit due to bad lighting, so my officiant/brideswoman/best friend snagged the downstairs mirror and we went upstairs to the workout room.

Instead of paying someone to do our makeup, we all brought what makeup we own and did each other. It worked fine, and the concern about not knowing how to do makeup for the camera was alleviated when we figured out that we could just have the photographer take pictures as we went.

Also, while none of us are really girly girls, I have to say that the time we spent hanging out that morning, doing our makeup, was one of my favorite parts of my wedding day. Actually being able to focus on the people around me was nice (and not totally possible the rest of the day).

At some point it was decided that it was time for me to get into my dress. I'd taken it on and off myself about 100 times, since I'd had it at home for months and I was constantly changing my mind about it, but it seemed right to have my little sister help me with the official putting on of the dress.
It looks like I'm wearing bright yellow jockey underwear in this picture. Not true.

Then we all sat around and took more pictures for ages, while we waited for the menfolk to show up. They were back at the house/wedding location helping set up and getting ready. Apparently they also ate lunch and forgot that practically every one of us womenfolk is a vegetarian when they brought us back a bunch of beef tamales (oops).

A good shot of the facinator/veil I made. I was getting a bit nervous about seeing P. at that point, and I almost forgot to put it on!

When the men finally got there, we were downstairs and I had to dash into the kitchen to hide (we were doing a "reveal" type shot). Only they didn't know we were waiting in the kitchen (they thought we were still getting ready), so we were there FOREVER. Finally my friend's boyfriend wandered in and we let him know what was up.
One of the inside the kitchen pictures, taken by one of the brideswomen. And just to clarify, we were holding the bananas because we were going to take them with us for snacking. We weren't just posing with them!

Up next, the reveal (which sounds much more dramatic than it was).

All pictures (except the last one) by Bradford & Mia Shepherd.