I say “sort-of” because I can’t really claim to have anything to do with actually making the flowers we used in our wedding. I left that job up to Mother Nature, and I have to say, she’s definitely the expert! We did, however, make our own bouquets and centerpiece arrangements – and I’m hear to tell you, if you decide to take on any diy project for you wedding, do this one! It is so much less expensive than hiring a florist, and it is also so much fun! I gained the confidence to try this after we had such success making the bouquets for E’s wedding last year, with flowers bought at Trader Joe’s! I knew I wanted really simple flowers – just pink peonies, and lots of them. After searching the internet for the best place to buy wholesale flowers, I settled on Wholeblossoms. I’m so happy with this choice, because the flowers we got from Wholeblossoms were beautiful and their customer service is outstanding. Some of the other websites seemed a little sketchy (one said if they couldn’t get the flowers you want, they might just replace them with a different type/color of flower without letting you know and with no refund of your money). Wholeblossoms called to let me know the flowers were on their way, called once they were delivered to make sure everything looked good, and then actually called on the morning of the wedding to make sure they held up for the big day. Ok, enough gushing about Wholeblossoms – I just wanted to share my experience because so many of the services seemed bad and I want people to know that there is a good online flower wholesaler out there! That’s not to say I wasn’t a little bit nervous when the flowers (from Alaska!) arrived looking like this:
Not to worry, though, after a few hours in water in the fridge, they looked like this!
My favorite part of making our bouquets was picking out the flowers and arranging them. After that, I simply handed the bunch to Kristen and she made the bouquet! It’s was like magic! : ) Here is me helping Kristen wrap my bouquet, with my crazy two-days-until-wedding face on:
We made bouquets for all the girls (including an adorable tiny bouquet for the adorable flower girl to carry), centerpiece arrangements, and still had some blooms left over to put in the sconces on the walls of the chapel. Here’s what that whole mess of peonies looked like after we tamed them and formed them into pretty little bundles. Also, I just had to post this picture because it is a stunning example of E and Hugo coexisting peacefully! : )
I love, love, loved the flowers! I think this was my favorite project that we did, and definitely the one with the least mistakes on my part (probably because I wasn’t really in charge this time).
I started getting an idea of what I wanted the reception centerpieces to look like (inspired a little bit by the image on page 39 from this Nonpareil magazine) when I spotted some small glass hobnail cake stands on sale (50% off!) at Hobby Lobby and snatched them up! I decided I wanted to have a small bunch of peonies (more on the flowers in the next post) in a short little vase on top of the cake stand and surrounded by . . . something? That something materialized when I spotted these free printable favor boxes on Style Me Pretty – I loved the design and thought green would be perfect with some pink peonies! So after using my limited editing skills, I was able to replace the “love is sweet” line on the boxes with our new monogram on one side and the date of the wedding on the other.
At this point (i.e. before the cutting and folding began), I was feeling very clever, especially when I got the correct cardstock to print them on for 50% off at Hobby Lobby. Eventhough about halfway through cutting them all out, folding them and glueing them together I was ready to give up and say that they were probably my worst idea ever, I’m so happy with how they turned out and I love how they looked on the centerpieces!
(I’m starting to see a little bit of a theme here . . . Linden thinks she has cleverest/cutest/most fun diy project in the world planned. . . Linden is overcome by feelings of regret that she took on such a stupid/ugly/not most fun diy project . . . Linden is happy she didn’t quit because the end result was adorable (but still doesn’t ever want to see green tissue paper or printed cardstock ever again)).
Making the boxes was quite a bit of work, but we also faced the task of trying to decide what to put in them. . . “how about Sour Patch Kids? We love those . . . ” “We can’t give people a whole box of Sour Patch Kids, it would look dumb.” “Ok, what about chocolate covered pretzels?” “Well, I might be on board with that, but only if we can get both white chocolate and milk chocolate – I want some variety!” . . . and so on and so on . . .
Ok, in retrospect, I may have been slightly unreasonable in my hunt for the perfect favor box fillers, but it was, like, 3 days before the wedding and I was crazy. In the end, we went with half chocolate covered pretzels, half frosted animal cookies (the kind with sprinkles)! Yum!
On to the second set of handmade items from our wedding – tissue paper pomanders! Ever since Martha Stewart came out with these tissue paper pom poms, I’ve wanted to include them in our wedding decorations somehow. My original plan was to make the large poms and hang them from the ceiling of our reception venue, Red Primesteak. Unfortunately, due to some expensive lighting in their dinning room, they don’t allow you to hang decorations from the ceiling (which I definitely understand – I wouldn’t want to pay for any that we broke). Luckily, I had run across this Ruffled tutorial on making tissue paper pomanders (based on MS’s pom poms) to line the aisle. While these seemed like quite a bit more work, I thought they would look better for the ceremony than the bigger, looser ones on Martha Stewart. So when Emily came to visit, we got started. And so began a series of unfortunate mistakes on my part and hours of tissue paper folding, cutting, fluffing . . .
Quite a stack of tissue paper, am I right?
So, um, if you clicked on the tutorials I linked to above, you may notice a problem with the tissue paper accordions in my picture. Unfortunately at the time, I did not notice the problem and Emily, believing that I knew how to make these (because I had made a practice one a couple of months before), didn’t start to question my technique until it started to become obvious that something had gone totally wrong. The gist of it is – we folded the paper the wrong direction. :( You see, you’re supposed to stack four 5×10″ pieces of paper and then fold them accordion style – only, you’re supposed to fold them so that they end up as 5″ strips, NOT 10″ strips (like above). Ugh! This slowly became evident (embarrassingly slowly for myself, actually), with Emily saying things like, “Lindy, I don’t quite see how these will end up looking like the one you finished a couple of months ago – they seem not as fluffy and quite a bit longer . . . ” Well, in the end we had to trim them down, use about twice as many little poms to cover half as many styrofoam balls than I had planned for. Oh, and I almost forgot, as the three of us (me, Emily, Kristen) were finishing the last 3 poms, Emily looked at mine and said, “Lindy, why is yours so much bigger than ours?” So I began to explain that my poms had just not been trimmed as much as theirs, until I realized that I had happened to pull the ONE larger styrofoam ball out of the bag of, like, 8 correct size styrofoam balls and completely covered it with poms before I realized it. Despite all this, we made it to the chapel with them, and not a one fell during the ceremony (which we thought would just top the whole adventure off!) I think they ended up looking quite cute decorating every other row in the church.
I have to thank Emily and Kristen again for their patience with these – none of us ever really want to see green tissue paper again, but I am glad that we stuck it out and finished them because I think they added a cute, whimsical touch to the ceremony. And we learned a valuable lesson: Linden’s brain + massive amounts of tissue paper + distraction of watching New Moon + bff Linden has only seen once in the last year + wedding in 5 days = near tissue paper disaster.
Well, ok, it’s been more than a couple of weeks since the wedding . . . I’ve got a few things I’ve been wanting to post about, but I first wanted to start with some posts about the do-it-yourself aspects of the wedding, and then head into pictures from the honeymoon, and the knitting I’ve gotten done in the meantime. So, now that I have the wedding pictures in my hot little hands, I can share! Being a crafter, I definitely wanted to make sure to have projects that me, my family, and my friends all had a hand in creating – so that every time I looked back at the pictures I would not only remember the day itself, but all the fun times (um, and sometimes fun(?) times) that we had getting everything ready. So I’ll kick it all off talking about the most ambitious diy project we took on!
Handmade Detail I: My Dress
I can’t take credit for this extreme do-it-yourself – it was all my mom! My wedding dress adventure started with my obsession with wearing a dress from the jcrew wedding collection. I’ve loved their simple, beautiful dress for a long time (and still do!), and so I always planed on ordering a few of them (you can only try them on in person at their bridal boutique in NYC), having a personal try-on at home, and then sending back all but the one I wanted to keep. Well, I implemented my plan, and actually liked two of the dresses, so I packed them up and headed to my parents to get my mom’s opinion. After showing her both dresses, her first priority was to convince me to go shopping in Tulsa with her (i.e. she didn’t like either of them . . .). Neither of us really knew where to look in Tulsa, but we ended up at a very fancy department store with a bridal boutique. Actually, they had a closed bridal boutique (they had sold almost everything for 50% off a few months before), but they had two dresses left. Ok, they had two of the same dress left, in different sizes – neither of them mine. One was close, though, so we said we would take a look at it (hey, 50%!). It ended up being this gorgeous Amsale dress, but a couple of sizes too small and still preeeeetttty expensive. As my mom and I were standing in the dressing room, falling in love with the bodice of the dress, she said, “You know, I could make this. If we had nice fabric I could definitely make this – it’s so simple.” Thus began our incredible journey of picking out just the right fabric (ordered from Mood!), trying to find the right pattern as a starting point (it didn’t actually end up being that similar to any of the patterns we looked at), meeting halfway between our homes to try on “practice dresses” made with less expensive fabric until we got just the right fit, and mom trying to convince me that it didn’t look that much like a friend’s wedding dress (“Mom, it looks exactly like Emily’s dress, I can’t wear it!”; “No it doesn’t, let me see a picture of her dress. No, it looks completely different – it’s just the bodice that looks the same.”; “Uh huh . . .”)
In the end, I had the most amazing dress, I felt so pretty on my wedding day, and someone actually said it looked like something Audrey Hepburn would wear (exactly what I was aiming for). My mom is an incredible seamstress (much more so than she always claimed to be, she credits all her years in 4H), and now I have a wedding dress that means so much for so many reasons : ) Oh, did I mention it has pockets? Yeah, it totally has pockets. My mom is awesome.
All photos are by the fabulous photographer Carl Zoch – he did an amazing job! In case you’re wondering, my veil was from Brenda’s Bridal Veils on etsy. Brenda is very helpful with any questions you have, and gets your veil to you very fast! Next up, the saga of the tissue paper poms . . .
Ok, I think this is the last post that has anything to do with Emily’s wedding (well, except for when I write about what I made with the yarn I bought in Portland, but that doesn’t really count). Sheesh . . . you probably think I’m obsessed with Emily and her marriage, or at the very least that we are good friends :-)
Although I repeatedly told Emily that she was getting married in JUNE, she insisted that it might be cold the day of the wedding (something about weather in the Gorge being unpredictable, or some such Pacific Northwesterner nonsense). Seeing as it was her wedding, though, I conceded that maybe she would need a coverup, which led to the inevitable desire to knit her something to wear. This desire came mostly from love, but, I’ll admit it, there was a little bit of wanting the bride to wear something I made on the wedding day. That way, when she looks back at pictures of the wedding wearing the coverup I gave her, she will be forced to think about me just a little bit. I know, it’s selfish. But it was mostly love, like I said.
After perusing shawl, wrap, shrug, etc., etc., patterns on Ravelry, and after one dress change-up, Emily settled on Aimee, a cute little capelet by Kim Hargreaves. (You may remember me discussing it a little bit here.) There was one issue with this pattern, however – it calls for Rowan Kidsilk Aura, which, unfortunately for Emily, contains mohair. Mohair just cannot be abided by Emily’s skin, so a substitute had to be found. This led us to Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, which, as the name suggests, is 100% silk. And, fortunately, 100% of knitters named Emily, Linden and Kristen think it feels exactly like a cloud. It was love at first touch, and we ran gleefully from the store with 500 meters of silk.
The capelet construction is simple, with decreases to shape the shoulders and a long cowl neck. The pattern calls for you to knit the garment in two pieces, but I decided to go for knitting in the round (my motto: when in doubt, minimize purling). I also modified the neck by working a few rows of seed stitch before binding off. In the silk yarn the purl bumps looked like little pearls, which I thought was very pretty. Emily is very found of flowers, so we decided to take on some more knitted embellishments in the form of silk flowers from Nikki Epstein’s Knitted Flowers. (I also talked about making the decision about the flowers here.) In the end, we went with four buttercups on the shoulder (two knitted by me, one by Emily, and one by Kristen – aww).
It did turn out to be quite cold on June 7, 2009. Please enjoy these beautiful photos of Emily in her capelet that I stole from her wedding photographer, Lauren Brooks. If you want to see more photos from the wedding, please visit Lauren’s blog.
Photos by Lauren Brooks
The secret wedding present is revealed! After not being able to discuss my knitting for a while, I’m so excited to share my experience with a wonderful pattern written by an amazing designer – Girasole by Jared Flood (aka Brooklyntweed). Here’s the finished project all laid out and in the hands of Eric and Emily. This pattern was wonderful, intuitive and I would knit it over and over again. (Um, yes, I know it’s huge. It’s actually about 9″ in diameter. This could explain the issue discussed in the next paragraph.)
I honestly loved knitting this blanket, the whole project went smoothly, with the only issue being the amount of yarn I had. I used the yarn the pattern called for – Cascade pastaza. This yarn is a beautiful wool/llama mix with a delightful weight. I ordered an extra skein of the yarn just to be safe (you don’t want to run out on such an important project) and reveled in my forethought (“what an experienced knitter I am, I ordered more than enough yarn and I’ll end up with extra for a hat or something”). Well, it turned out that I was being slightly overconfident and I ran out of my extra yarn a little more than halfway through the knitted on edging. Hmm . . . I’m slightly embarrassed to say that my heart was racing until I was able to log in to Webs and buy another hank. Once it arrived, I quickly finished up the edging and then did a happy dance celebrating the completion of the most massive project I’ve ever attempted. Oh, and not to give you a heart attack, but this is how much yarn I had left after casting off:
What follows is a picture essay on my project as it progressed (I took photos after completing each chart, which was sometimes at night, so I apologize for poor picture quality).
Chart D (we’re at 640 sts per round at this point folks!):
Chart E (oooh, it’s growing!):
Chart G (quite a mess of yarn at this point, huh?):
Starting the edging:
And now for the finale . . .
Goodbye Girasole! I loved our time together, but now I want you to go and warm the household of one of my best friends, Emily, and my new friend, Eric. Keep them warm throughout the years of their happy marriage (and also, try not to itch Emily too much).
Ahhh . . . now that the photographer has posted pictures from the wedding, I can share the link and write about all the many beautiful things that happened on June 7, 2009. Please, please look at the photographer’s photos because they are much better than mine!
Early morning – Emily picks me and Kristen up at the Battleground Best Western; I hold box of bouquets in my lap all the way to Bridal Veil, relishing the fragrance the whole way; we are the first to arrive and set up begins!
During set up, we all do things like put food in the refrigerator, put tablecloths and flowers on tables, and direct boys on where tables and chairs should go. The photographer was arriving to take formal pictures before the wedding, so at some point I headed into the bathroom to re-steam dresses while the rest of the set up was finished. Then it was time for the girls to get ready! We had a lot of fun getting pretty while the photographer, Lauren, snapped photos of our preparations. Formal pictures were next, and Lauren and her husband did a great job of directing us and making the pictures fun.
After photos, we were about an hour away from the wedding so we all continued getting ready [poor Emily's mom had to have her linen jacket steamed a couple of times and eventually decided not to move her arms until the ceremony :-)]. I fretted over whether or not the rings were still in my pocket while everyone was amazed that my dress had pockets and that an entire ring box could go unnoticed in them (which, I’ll agree, is pretty amazing). Finally, the time came to walk over to the ceremony site, so the bridal party and family walked around the lake to get to a little hut where we could hide before walking in.
When we got the signal that it was go time, Steven (Eric’s brother) and I started walking down the path to stand up with Emily and Eric on their wedding day. Next came Kristen with two fellas, Jeff (Emily’s brother) and Michael (Eric’s other brother), then Eric with his parents and finally Emily with her parents. After the families were seated Emily and Eric stepped up to the officiant together, where he discussed the commitment of marriage and I almost cried because I thought I saw E’s chin quivering. The vows were beautiful, the ring exchange was flawless (I have to admit this was the most stressful part of the ceremony for me – mostly due to fear of messing up the hand off and having to crawl in the grass to find Eric’s ring). Emily and Eric kissed and walked down the aisle as husband and wife, spent a moment together and then greeted guests on the path to the reception. Kristen, Melody and I brought up the rear, at which point I first hugged Eric (started crying, managed to choke out a “congratulations”), then Emily (started seriously crying and just managed a longer than normal hug).
The reception was next and this also went off without a hitch. We dined on delicious box lunches from Whole Foods, and completed a puzzle of the newlyweds (picture taken before they were weds). Not entirely too late, Sasha finally arrived after dealing with delayed and canceled flights. He (and I) were really sad that he missed the ceremony, but he still got to congratulate the bride and groom.
(Please note silk capelet in photo – more discussion of this handknit coming soon) The toasts were made with delicious Izze fruit soda! Steven made an adorable toast to Emily and Eric, Kristen and I expressed our love, Emily and Eric thanked everyone for coming, Emily’s dad said a few words and Emily’s mom (in a surprise gesture) toasted me and Kristen (which brought on a few tears again). Then came the cupcakes!
After cupcakes and Izzes, we took a little canoe ride. Emily and Eric went in the “bridal canoe” while Jeff took me and Kristen out behind them. Look at us go! The photographer said she has done a few weddings at Bridal Veil and that Emily and Eric were the first bride and groom to get in a canoe (I’m not surprised).
Much merriment ensued, and then it was ultimately time for the happy couple to drive away from us! The getaway was simple (we went pretty easy on them), and clean up was easy peasy with so many people to help out. After everything was loaded up and ready to go it was time to say goodbye to everyone, which was hard after such a fun week.
Friday and Saturday
Well, I called this the Shower and Post-shower era, so I guess I’ll start out telling you about the Friday morning shower at Battle Grounds (a cute little coffee shop with a pun-ny name based on the town). The shop was in an old house, and we had one of the upstairs rooms reserved. The gathering was pretty small – Emily, me, Kristen, Emily’s mom and Eric’s mom. After ordering some delicious pastries, sandwiches, teas and coffees, we settled down for some serious coloring. I’m talking Strawberry Shortcake and Carebear coloring books, complete with wedding stickers to accessorize. We each colored a few pictures symbolic of the upcoming nuptials (and a couple of sunny pictures hoping for good weather). After coloring came present opening, and E got some very adorable gifts and cards. See the poster we made?
Once the delightful shower was over (thanks again to Eric’s mom), we headed off to find some ribbon for bouquets and then back to Emily’s house to hang out with Eric and do more wedding crafts.
Kristen and I were invited to attend a BBQ over at Eric’s house Friday night, and it was really fun to meet his family. I hope Emily enjoyed having our support in the land of soon-to-be in-laws, although she seemed unfazed about it all and happy to be there! Back at the hotel the finishing touches were put on Emily’s wedding capelet. And, ok, I know it’s pretty cheesy, but all three of us made a buttercup (ravelry link) to go on the shoulder. I couldn’t help being mushy this entire week, and I think I tried to make everything symbolic of something!
Saturday morning dawned with an early morning hotel pick up from Emily to take us to Joann’s for more ribbon and Trader Joe’s to find flowers for bouquets. The flowers from Trader Joe’s are beautiful, and after the purchase of 10 bouquets we thought we had enough flowers to make 3 lovely bouquets with extra flowers for decoration. See, I can hardly fit in the backseat with all of the flowers :-)
We headed back to home base (AKA Emily’s house) to prepare our bouquets, put the final touches on the wedding crafts, and steam ALL of our dresses. Making bouquets was so much fun, and they ended up beautiful! Here they are in the fridge with all of the shelves taken out . . .
After bouquets, I steamed dresses for a bit while Kristen and Emily got everything packed up and ready for Sunday (can you believe E let me near her dress with a steamer? Scary, but it worked like magic). Before heading out to dinner, the three of us sat out on the deck for a few minutes – and then one of the most amazing parts of the trip (for me) happened. I got a wild bunny to eat from my hand! His (or her) name is Spot, and he/she is a very tame bunny who has been known to eat out of human hands before. Spot is beautiful and it was a real treat to have him eat oats and sunflower seeds from my palm!
After dinner we got to see Melody (it’s been way too long), and then it was off to bed to catch our beauty sleep for the wedding day!
Next Up: The Big Day!
Phew! That was a whirlwind week I just had there! There is so much to talk about that I think I will have to break it up into little pieces to share. Just so you get the big picture – last Sunday was Emily and Eric’s wedding at Bridal Veil Lakes in Oregon. Kristen and I (and as a surprise, Emily) flew to Portland on June 2 to start all of the preparations. Here’s how the story went:
Chapter One: Preparing for the Wedding – Pre-shower Era (AKA Tuesday-Thursday)
On Tuesday, E, K and I all flew from OKC to Dallas Love Field, where we got on a plane that took us to Portland with a brief stop in Albuquerque. We had a lot of fun with our scheduled flight activities of knitting, talking, napping and crossword puzzle racing. Jeff picked us up from the airport and took us to E’s house for a delicious meal of mac’n’cheese prepared by E’s wonderful mom. See us having fun in the terminal?
Wednesday is kind of a blur – I remember going to Trader Joe’s and picking up snacks, stopping at Home Depot and Lowe’s to look for peat pots, picking up some gorgeous peonies at Whole Foods for E’s mom, a stop at Burgerville where I had delicious fried asparagus spears, a trip to Fred Meyer for grilled hamburger necessities, and a stop at Goodwill to find games for guests to play at the wedding. That evening Kristen and I cooked dinner for the family (and by “cooked dinner” I mean we made the biggest fruit salad ever known to man while Jeff made burgers and everyone else did pretty much everything else). After that it was time for some wedding crafting and to play our prize find from Goodwill – a hardly used Office DVD game with which Jeff and Kristen dominated me and Emily.
Thursday started out with a trip to the spa – specifically Pure Spa in Portland. K and E both had 60 minute massages while I had a facial. It was delightful and relaxed all three of us for the rest of the day. After our spa trip we went to Noodles and Company for delicious pasta and then headed over to the very fancy Pioneer Place mall, with a side trip to Knit Purl (where I got some amazing alpaca yarn to commemorate the trip – I took the picture here to show off the pretty Clematis in Sasha’s back yard).
After shopping, we headed straight over to Bridal Veil Lakes for the rehearsal which went quite smoothly with, as Emily puts it, “no fatal flaws” and a “small amount of chaos”. Then it was time for the rehearsal dinner, which was held at a very cool place called Tad’s Chicken ‘n Dumplins. Great fun was had by all, and Kristen and I got presents (photo cropped to only show the clutches because we looked very shiny)!
Stay tuned for Chapter Two: Preparing for the Wedding – Shower and Post-shower Era (AKA Friday and Saturday)