26 October 2011

the juicy bits

i started to run, thinking, what have i gotten myself into?!? i could never capture in words all the joy and creativity and generosity we experienced. and life kinda got busy...which, is, real life, isn't it? and something scary happened to someone i love, and then it wasn't so scary, and then we were grateful for everything and each other and life's lessons. but as soon as i started to run, i realized i was running for the wrong reasons. so what if this is the most disorganized recap of a wedding celebration ever, it is mine, i will write it. even if my words don't do justice to my experience, if i can somehow, someway, capture the sheer color and delight of paul's blue eyes, our confetti system wavering in the wind, the brassy notes of the trumpet floating in the crisp october air, i would be glad. my crooked smile, and oh-my-god my bouquet (it was GORGEOUS). these are the memories i don't want to forget. 

succulents, orange dahlia's, cream garden roses, and more. gush
so the weekend overview, once again:
thursday: errands all day with mom and sister
friday: special deliveries, last minute preparations, family dinner (aka: chili cookoff!)
saturday: rehearsal at whitehall and "rehearsal dinner" (or what PW and i called "cheers to you" dinner)
sunday: bridal shower (not your average bridal shower! stay tuned for many deets), followed by the wedding and reception.

let's start with the beginning, shall we? caroline and mom and eleanor were scheduled to arrive on wednesday evening at 7p.m.  i had a gift certificate to joseph's salon and spa that inspired me to schedule a massage and waxing appt after work that day... and let's be honest, my stress levels are used to red-lining much of the time, so this was the relaxing, peaceful, soak-it-up kickoff to our imaginative and festive wedding weekend. note to future brides: you have my full hearted recommendation to go this route. so worth it. even the armpit wax. didn't shave my armpits for two weeks! hollar.

this photo was taken the day before eleanor arrived. imagine how excited i was! my life would be complete if i looked this cute in my saturday morning lounge wear.
e.b.r. love
 also arriving and bringing a big smile to my face, our confetti system, with customized amounts of gold, magenta and turquoise. can i get a hell yes? this is the real deal, folks. we dreamed of this baby for so long, and one night, while attempting to convince veronica, our lovely 'day of coordinator,' friend extraordinaire, and creative, amazing soul, that the 15 hours DIY project might be worth it, paul ordered it. he walked in and said he'd done so, and i was shocked and i've no doubt veronica was relieved. she would've done anything for us, even a 15 hour DIY project, but this beauty was worth every penny (and keeping your dear friends sane!)!!!
welcome to louisville, Confetti Systems!
i had a whole list of to do's to tackle on thursday, and knowing mom and caroline would be here made them truly fun. we ran around town, picked up my dress, dropped off the ribbon at the florist, delivered batches of wedding decor to the venue, picked up beer, etc.etc.etc. about half-way through the day, i vividly remember saying: i have this much stress, GOOSE EGG, nada, zilch. we all smiled and vrooommmed along our little way. what a great start to the weekend.

at the end of our long day of errands, we made one last trip to pickup a special delivery: two custom, (confetti system's inspired) piñatas. my friend paula has a friend carolina who can work MAGIC with paper, cardboard and glue.  the piñata conversation consisted of a few emails, one phone call, and meeting in a parking lot to pick up the goods. this is just a GLIMMER of these beauties. carolina did an AMAZING job making this dream come true. yes we had piñatas at our wedding, didn't you?!?! if you can't tell from the photo, they were about 3.5' ft. tall. gold. and blue. um yes. amazing.

look at caroline's face! that about sums it up! amazing!
then when we got home that evening, we started in on a wedding craft i'd been planning for a long time... 

welcome boxes!
one of my favorite parts about a wedding is checking in at a hotel room and getting a little welcome gift. it's one of the special little things i wanted to do for our traveling guests, and because paul works in the wine business, i got inspired to use fancy wine boxes as the carrier of these little treats :)  we stuffed the boxes full of colorful tissue paper, yummy snacks (sweet and salty), beverages (locally brewed beer, half bottles of wine, and san pellegrino soda), fresh fruit, local publications, and a welcome note. wrapped them with assorted colors of ribbon, and voila! what a collaboration of all things good!

momma making good progress

attendant of honor in action

ready to go!

our mini helper

bridal delivery to the hotel, how fun is that!!

and talk about reduce, reuse, recycle! i loved this project, it was perfectly paul and perfectly me. we even saw my grandma and uncle dave in the parking lot when we were dropping these puppies off---so i got to hand deliver a few boxes! i was told that they were delivered by a bellhop to each guest's room (how fun it that! like christmas morning)...though i have no clue if that actually happened. :) as it goes being the bride.

how's that for a healthy dose of wedding fun and inspiration. more soon!
xoxoxoxxx S

15 October 2011

location. location. location.

cloudless blue sky
when you get the privilege of hand-picking the day for your special event, you can control everything about that day, down to the most intricate of details. but what you can't choose is the weather, the temperature, or the way the wind will blow. you get what cha' get.

about a week before the wedding,  people kept saying "the ten day forecast looks beautiful," or "looks like you'll have a sunny wedding day." i'd smile and pretend to care, but really, i didn't. a long while back, i resigned all control of the details of this day. i had a few minor demands (keep reading) and i might have said something on a mothers-sister-bride conference call about no guests wearing black (?!?!), but otherwise, the weather, the finite details of the day, the menu of the rehearsal dinner, it was all a wash to me and paul. 

ultimately, we decided on louisville because it was a place we knew and loved.  there are handfuls of vendors here that we personally knew and wanted to give our business, tell them what we were thinking and let them do their thing. the majority of our guests were going to travel no matter where we decided to have our wedding, and we fell in love in this city, so it just felt right.

oh right... we realized we need a place to actually have the wedding. we tossed around the idea of paul's church and a darling restaurant we loved right down the street. that didn't settle quite right (though stay tuned for more on the darling restaurant)... and then there was Whitehall: historical home and gardens, with just the right amount of french-american victorian era inspiration, and green space that inspires and delights. 

and then it was settled. louisville. whitehall. october. the only open date in october was sunday the 2nd, and we snatched it up. i still remember when paul called me at work earlier this year to tell me the date was available. i about leaped out of my chair. merrill was an absolute delight to work with, and after an official tour of the house and ground, anybody would be so happy to host their event at whitehall. 

we finally had a location and a date! once these details were in place, the ideas really started rolling. and not that anyone's looking for advice, but that whole "let your heart lead the way" really is quite the trick.  when you settle into your own ideas and get really clear on what you love, it all kind of magically happens. that's true of life, isn't it? mumford and sons put it well: "where you invest your love, you invest your life."

so back to the weather, i caved a few days before the wedding and this is what i saw:

67 and sunny. hell yes.
a bride can't buy that kind of a weather report. so we set out to celebrate, all weekend long, with 70+ of our closest family and friends surrounding us.  and we did. and it was amazing. and we are still beaming over some of the small details that came together so beautifully. without micro-managing. without worry and anxiety in abundance. there was, what i like to think, the right amount of tension: enough so that you knew this was a special event, but not a paralyzing amount that made everything feel like tip-toeing on a tightrope.

Family at the chili dinner

family at the rehearsal (and V, mistress of ceremonies!)

membrillo at red hog with erincita (looking tan! thanks iphone)

our mischievous friends, looking sweet 
and so i'll end this second overview with our itenerary for the weekend, or what my dad called, the calendar of events:

thursday: errands all day with mom and sister
friday: special deliveries, last minute preparations, family dinner (aka: chili cookoff!)
saturday: rehearsal at whitehall and "rehearsal dinner" (or what PW and i called "cheers to you" dinner)
sunday: bridal shower (not your average bridal shower! stay tuned for many deets), followed by the wedding and reception. 

are you still here? i hope so. it strikes me that i should apologize if this space turns into a bit of a wedding gush for a while. its just that i don't want to forget these details and the very best way for me to share/save them is to write about them here. i hope you won't mind. i promise to keep it as fresh and authentic as possible. 

sending love your way on this saturday morning. 

my husband is making pumpkin pancakes and scrambled eggs... life is calling.  xoxoxo S

10 October 2011

the season of love

oh my, oh my, this negligent blogger is ready for a return. as many of you have heard, i'm a new Mrs. and the entire wedding weekend filled me with enough inspiration, insight and love that i cannot hold back! 

not only do i want to share wedding details, but i'd also really like to highlight some special vendors and share some stories about why we did what we did. how about a photo to kick off my highlight summary post?
paul & i before the "rehearsal" dinner
when we sat down to plan our wedding, which was the culmination of a 14-month engagement, i must admit i was a very different person than i am today.  something about the ceremony of a wedding---and the planning that goes into it---changes you.  it connects you to the people you know and love (whether they are married or not) in a unique way, and to a history of love that is much older and wiser than you and i. it's humbling and exhilarating, unique to every person and a part of each of us.

for me, weaving meaningful aspects of ourselves into the events and traditions of a wedding was the MOST exciting part and what made the whole process worth it.  i mean yes, i get this incredible, committed, wonderful man to call my husband---that's great beyond words----but we could have made that commitment on the beaches of somewhere exotic or on a mountaintop somewhere picturesque, but that just didn't seem to settle right. we knew in our heart of hearts we wanted to share that commitment before our family and friends, eloping sounded sexy but not quite right.
sweet reminder

don't get me wrong, we talked seriously about it. i am of the mindset, "if it doesn't serve you, throw it out,"  and a lot of wedding traditions didn't suite paul and i. so thus began many months of inspiration seeking and combing through everything that's out there. when 2011 kicked off, we took a walk, looked each other in the eyes, and got to planning. we had to think seriously about the ceremony, the themes, the decorations, and (very seriously) about the food and "beverage program" (ahem, yes, I said beverage program)---but mostly we had to get clear on:
  1. what we wanted
  2. how to navigate the wedding industry in a way that produced a meaningful event (and didn't burn holes in pocketbooks)
  3. (perhaps most importantly) how to get our families (and dear friends) on board for the adventure (because people, it takes a VILLAGE!).
i think the last three things were pivotal to the inevitable transformation. and now, post-wedding, paul and i couldn't be more delighted with the outcome, the generous amounts of love and support we've received, and to wake up each morning, pinch one another's rosy cheeks and thank our lucky stars. we are super blessed and we know it.
look at those smiles.

so true!

wedding day self portrait (loads more to this story!)
so that's the start to the story. it's going to unravel in many parts, so i hope you'll join me for the adventure. if you could care less about weddings (which i totally understand), check in from time to time for pretty pictures and some fun inspiration about awesome louisville businesses! much love from kentucky! xoxox