White on Wood {signs}

Now that my invitation designer and I are getting closer to the final version of my invitation suite, it's got me thinking about all things signage! We are doing a lot of white text on colored backgrounds, so when I saw these "white on wood" signs, I knew they would be a great fit.

White on Wood



White on Wood1



White on Wood3



White on Wood4

Source: left, right

There is a simple tutorial, here. And some ideas on where to find old wood, here.

Did you have luck finding reclaimed wood for wedding signage? If so, how did you do it?


Saving the Date {paperlessly}

This week I have been checking things off the list! We are about to sign a contract with our caterer (post to come), I went dress shopping again and went to Paper Source to look at different invitation styles. We also decided to do e-Save-the-Dates and have them almost ready to send out. It's getting real!

Like I've mentioned before, I love paper! My first choice would have been to do a crafty and unique Save the Date, but we decided to go the 'e' route for a couple reasons - cost: by going through a website we were able to get a really cute design for almost free. Time: we were able to get our Save the Dates picked out and ready to go in a matter of a few hours. Logistics: we needed to get people to our website where they could get more info on accommodations. By creating a save the date that will come through email to our guests, our wedding website is just a click away. I was pleasantly surprised to find a ton of super cute designs on sites like Paperless Post and cocodot. Many of the designs are free and the rest are very reasonably priced.

Sources: Paperless Post and cocodo

Did you or would you consider doing an e-Save the Date?

Paper Extras {tying everything together}

I am a sucker for paper - stationary, thank you cards, menus...you name it. So when it comes to my wedding, I get giddy over not just the invitations, but all the 'extras.' Here are some images inspiring me...





Source: Left, top right, bottom right

I came to the realization recently (after getting a quote from a designer) that these things do not come cheap, so there may be some DIY in my future! I won't be able to do everything so I'll also have to get creative with different vendors. Knowing that it's going to take more than just hiring a designer and approving the design, I realize this all will require some extra work. But I know that the savings and getting to have more of a hand in everything will make it worth it.

I was really inspired by fellow E&I blogger who recently posted about her DIY invitations - check them out! I also love Kim's, here.

Did you DIY all or part of your wedding invitations and/or the extra paper goods? How did it go for you?

Wedding China {Yay or Nay}

This past week has been a busy and productive one! I've been checking things off my list. Here's what I've done:

Finally found a caterer who is listening to what we want and working with us to make it happen! Fingers crossed that this one works out. Future post to come.

Got in contact with a friend-of-a-friend designer for our wedding invites. She seems awesome but working on the details of style and printing technique, which both effect cost.

Set up multiple appointments to try on wedding dresses in the coming weeks. October=operation wedding dress.

Built our wedding website! We are going to use it to get the word out about accommodations since our destination is a small town and already booking up for next July. You may remember my post about wedding websites, here, where I talked about going social. I ended up going with Weduary and am really happy with it so far!

Solidified our condo rentals for the wedding party.

Started our wedding registry. This brings me to the topic of today's post - wedding china.

I'm sure many of you have thought the same thing - do I really need china? Does the tradition of creating a family heirloom outweigh the fact that I won't be hosting Thanksgiving until I have a house or apartment big enough for a table with a leaf?





As of now, I'm undecided on whether china will be a part of our registry. But, these pictures are making me see the appeal! They also remind me of my grandma's collection of teacups with saucers. She has all different styles and gets a new one every couple years. I would be so excited to have them one day and it's not because she got them for her wedding, it's because they remind me of her. So, I don't think you have to have wedding china to build something to pass down to future generations, but it would be fun to have a fancy set for holidays and dinner parties.

Did you, or are you going to, register for china? How did you decide whether or not to do it?

Candid Photography {worth a thousand words}

This week I'm looking at photographers and discovering I'm drawn to all the amazing candid shots. Don't get me wrong, I love posed photos just as much as the next girl, but I think what sets great wedding photographers apart are the moments they are able to capture when no one is expecting it.

Sources: all Style Me Pretty

This week I'm going to Mexico for a friends' combined bachelor/bachelorette party. Finding a photographer will be next on my list when I return from vacation. I can't wait to keep looking! I am hoping photographers will be open to Skype meetings, at least until we narrow it down.

Follow up to last week's post - while I loved the dresses at Amy Kuschel, I don't think I found the dress for me, so the search continues!

Until next week!



The Dress Search is {Back} On!

Photo: Elizabeth Messina

This week I have an appointment at Amy Kuschel Bride, a boutique where each dress is designed and hand made right here in San Francisco's Union Square. The dresses are tailored to each bride. With this place being close enough for an after-work appointment, I just HAD to get in and check it out for myself. The prices are reasonable (in the bridal world), ranging from $1,500 - $5,000. If you know this designer's story, it was important to her that brides be able to get a beautiful, high-quality dress without spending a fortune.

This week, I invite you to join in as I do a little 'homework' for my appointment. They asked me to look over their website for designs I like. Twist my arm! ;)

Source: all images

Thanks for reading and I'll let you know how it goes!

Save-the-Dates {and the 10-Month Countdown}

Right now, I'm looking at the 8 to 10-month check lists (our wedding is July 20, 2013)...and if you've planned a wedding, you will know they are serious lists! They may look small as far as number of check boxes, but, in reality, they are some of the BIGGEST decisions of all! The wedding dress, the officiant, DJ/band, caterer, photographer, the registry and so on. Two months ago the date was July 5th. I had my ceremony and reception venue and day-of planner booked, our wedding parties all figured out, our guest list lined up - I was feeling good. Fast forward two months and I now have a new job that is keeping me crazy-busy, and nothing else booked for our wedding. Don't get me wrong, we have been looking into things and thinking about things, but you can't have a wedding by thinking about it ;-). Needless to say, it's time to get back in the wedding planning zone. The 10-month countdown begins.


So, that brings me to what we need to figure out this week. A couple, seemingly-unrelated, things that all tie together. The hotels/lodging, the wedding website and save-the-dates. Because we are getting married in a small town along the Columbia River Gorge that also happens to be a destination spot for many outdoor activities, from windsurfing to hiking to wine tasting (I consider wine tasting an outdoor activity), the lodging is in high demand. In a perfect world, we would love for our guests (or even just us and our wedding party with their family's) to group together and rent a couple houses in town. There are so many within walking distance of each other and downtown and we think it would be a great way to spend time together. Whether we can figure the house thing out or not, we will still need to find a hotel for people to stay at, which leads me to the two other things on our list needing to be done ASAP - the wedding website and the save-the-dates (if we do them). I wrote this post a while back about websites and save-the-dates (just realized you shouldn't abbreviate that, yikes!). Bottom line is we need to get the word out about our lodging recommendations to our guests so that they can book soon. Our wedding still 10 months out, but time is flying and we don't want to have last picks on the places to stay.

This brings me to the last thing on our list for this week - Save-the-dates. We are trying to figure out whether or not to do them. I think they are so fun and you can do so many creative things with them, but I'm trying to figure out if I can justify the time and cost for something I ultimately just want to lead people to our website where they can find the details on lodging and the weekend activities. Thoughts?!

Here are some I like:




If only we could get our cat to sit still for a minute...


Did you or didn't you use Save-the-Dates? Are you using a wedding website that also offers 'virtual' Save-the-Dates? What do you think about renting a house/houses for the bride, groom and wedding party to stay at over the weekend?

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, trains and automobiles...all three might be possible modes of transportation for our wedding weekend next July. Almost all of our guests will be traveling by plane and/or car to reach our (not-too-far-away) destination wedding town of Hood River, Oregon. The actual wedding location is about 15 miles south of Hood River. So, high on our list of priorities is making sure everyone can get easily to and from our venue without worrying about getting back after enjoying some adult beverages. Thankfully, our ceremony and reception are at the same place, so we just have to arrange transportation to the the wedding and back to town (a.k.a. the after party). So this week, I've been looking at different options for transportation. Not all of them work for our location, but they sure are fun to look at!

My friends had one of these red buses at their wedding last summer and it was awesome! Guests love them and (bonus!) they are such a perfect photo opp!


If I was getting married here in San Francisco, I would love to use trolleys! I used to live on the trolley line on California Street and even with that constant buzzing of the trolley line out my bedroom window, I never got sick of them.



School buses would be super fun and actually would work with our location...

Sources: top, bottom left, bottom right

As for the trains, there is actually a train in town that you can take around the area. Might be a fun pre-wedding day activity.

Did you provide transportation to and from your wedding? Any fun ideas that I'm missing?

Personalized Wedding Invitations

This past week my fiance and I have been working on our guest list...one of the toughest tasks thus far in wedding planning. On the positive side, it has made me start thinking about the invitations. I'm really excited to pick how ours will look and figure out ways to make them personalized to us and our wedding location. I love paper goods so the invites are important to me. They are also one of the first impressions your guests will have of the wedding and include some very important details for making sure everyone makes it to your big day (or weekend)! I don't really know what I want to have them look like beyond going with our venue (outside, bed and breakfast near Mount Hood in Oregon) and fitting with our personalities and wedding color palette. So, I did some searching for inspiration. I like a wide variety of styles, from casual and quirky to more formal and traditional, colorful to black and white, and so on.

Here are some of the invitations that are inspiring me...


At first glance these seem more traditional, but when you look a little closer, there are some great details and unique aspects like the accordion-folded invite.


I love when maps are included!


Liking the calligraphy and lace on these.


These are super fun and personal - they used their dog! And took inspiration from chalkboard writing since the couple met in grade school.


Incorporating the mountain that will be the backdrop to our vows. ?


How did you pick your wedding invitations?

Celebrate Good Times :: Wedding Music

Of the weddings I've been to in the past few years, I would say they have been about half DJs, half bands (and equally fun!). Like most wedding decisions, there are pros/cons with both options - if you have a DJ, you can play whatever music you want. If you have a band, it's like a mini concert at your wedding! So, for my own wedding, I could imagine either. Although when we visited our venue in-person, the first thing my fiance said about the dance floor was "it's begging for a band!" As long as the people on the dance floor look something like the ones below, I would be totally happy!



DJs are great because they can gauge what kind of music is working and play the next songs accordingly. You also have more flexibility with what you play. If you love a song and really want it played at your wedding, you don't have to worry that it's not on the band's list.

Source: left, right

Bands are awesome too. They become the life of the party and people love a good show. They also come with a higher price tag, so that's something we are factoring in.

This past week Chris has been doing a ton of searching for bands online. It's been fun to listen what he finds. He's been playing everything from country music to steel drum bands...although we would probably go with something a little more versatile. ;-)



What's your take on band vs. DJ? If you know of any great (and affordable) Portland/Gorge area bands, please share!