I'm Getting Married!



I can't believe this week is finally here! After a year and three months of planning, we leave for our wedding weekend today! I'm so excited for it all to come together and have my family and friends in one place for an entire weekend.

Here are some of the images that have inspired me and shaped our wedding over the past year...

f7a3cdcef946d7d5a74725ce80a6ad28 Groom-Style1Source: top, bottom three



Last E&I Post!2Sources: top left, top right, lower left, lower right

Last E&I Post!3Sources: left, right

Last E&I Post!Source: left, right

It's been so much fun being a part of the E&I community! Thank you for following along on my journey to the alter. Cheers!


Finding Your Glass Slippers


Shoes3 Source: top left, top right, bottom left, bottom right

 Now that I have my dress, Ican't wait to pick out the heels! I love the look of a neutral color with sparkles of some kind.



 On the other hand, a brighter color would be fun.

Shoes4Source: left, right 


Other things on my checklist are that they are comfortable, stay on my feet, not be too high, and that they aren't crazy expensive. I can't wait to find the perfect ones for me. I'm thinking I'll be ordering several contenders so that I can try them on and see how they feel on and with my dress.

Where did you shop for your wedding shoes?

Bridesmaid Asks :: DIY

I've heard that you are supposed to be a few months into the wedding planning before you ask your bridesmaids. But I don't think I'm alone when I say that I got excited and wanted to ask them right away! While people may have different opinions on the exact time you are supposed to ask your bridesmaids to be a part of your wedding, I think we can all agree you should be asking not telling. Being a wing woman to a bride these days can be a big commitment (both with time and money) and while it is a fun experience for most ladies, not everyone is in the position to take on the responsibility. With that said, I don't think you can go wrong with asking your bridesmaids, whether it's over the phone, in-person or sending a little note, but for those who want to do something extra crafty, I found some great ideas.

Remember paper chain dolls? Well, they grew up and got a lot more stylish!

Source and Instructions

Love this card with the lace:

Source and Instructions

Or you could play off the little engagement ring box with something like this...

Source and Instructions

If you want to go big and are a little further along in the planning process, you could make a box like the one below with details about the wedding party and wedding. It sounds surprisingly simple (and fun) to make!

Source and Instructions

If you are more into letting others craft for you, there's always Etsy! I have seen these hangers used for pictures of the bride's wedding dress, but they would make super cute bridesmaid asks by adding a personal note to each of your ladies. It would even make for cute pictures on the wedding day with all the bridesmaid dresses (and your wedding dress) hanging together.


Here are the cards I made, ...

Supplies you will need:

  • Pre-made cards and envelopes (I used Square)
  • Colored paper - mine was an opaque orange color
  • White scrap paper
  • A pen - I used navy
  • Elmer's glue gel
Instructions: draw a silhouette of a dress that you can use to trace the dresses. Trace the number of dresses you are going to need and then cut them out (cut inside the line you drew so it's not visible). Glue a dress onto each card. Then use your pen to free-hand draw the little bouquets and cut them out. Once the dresses have dried, glue the bouquets on top. I made a special version of the card for my sister (my maid of honor) by cutting a wedding dress shape out of shiny, textured white paper and putting that next to the 'bridesmaid dress' on the front.
Weigh the cards down with a heavy object, like a book, to keep everything from rippling as the glue dries.  Lastly, write 'will you...' on the front and 'be my bridesmaid' on the inside and write a little note to your friend/sister/sister-in-law to be. I tried my best on the hand writing, but these would look even more professional if you have great handwriting. Or you could use a computer and printer if you know how to do that or get some alphabet stamps. I think if I were to do this over again, I think would use letter stamps to spell the words out.
How did you or do you plan to ask your bridesmaids? Did you do something crafty or go with the tried-and-true way of just asking over the phone or in-person? 


I'm happy to say we found the 'where' and the 'when' for our wedding! We took an extended weekend trip up to Oregon last weekend and fell in love with one venue in particular...it had all the checks on my list and then some. Not only that, but we got to spend an afternoon in Hood River, where our guests will be staying, and had so much fun! As a bonus, our friends and their sweet ten-month-old baby girl were passing through town too, so we got to go to lunch and walk around town with them (with a little wine tasting room pit-stop). I can only hope for the 80-degree weather from last weekend when our wedding comes around! I hadn't been to Hood River since I was a teenager, and I can say that it definitely lived up to the memories. I know our friends and family will enjoy this town as much as we did. As I mentioned last week, it's really important to us that our guests are staying in a place that they can explore and hang out with each other. As we walked around town, we kept our eyes out for places we could be in the days before the wedding. There were so many great spots and things about the town that fit our style...breweries, fresh and local food, outdoor decks, nice people, etc.

The downtown area is full of quaint buildings with home and clothing boutiques, windsurfing stores and restaurants. In the background is the Columbia River and the State of Washington.


Hood River is also the windsurfing capital of the world!


 About a 30-minute drive south of the town of Hood River, past wineries, lavender farms, and pear orchards lies the spot we will be saying 'I do' in July of 2013 - Mt. Hood B&B.


Here are some pictures of their awesome 47-acre property that sits on the northeast side of Mount Hood.

Mountain backdrop: check.


Room for lawn games: check.


Great dance floor: check!


Spot for the music: check (although now my fiance wants a band and I'm not sure if that fits into our budget :-)



Another reason we loved the B&B is that the owners were really sweet and helpful. Jackie (the wife/mom) happily answered my million and one questions. The couple raised their four kids on the property and now their daughter is also a day-of event coordinator. We wanted a day-of coordinator and she knew her stuff, so we hired her on the spot. That is sort of becoming a theme with our planning - if we know we like something, we make the decision quickly.

I am so relieved to have the date set and the venue booked. Now I feel like I can make all the other decisions within that framework and the vision can sort of fall into place. My mind is racing with all the other fun details...the colors, the dress, the flowers! Did anyone else feel like this? Or are the hard decisions yet to come?

Venue Time :: Destination Unknown

While my fiancé and I live in one of the best cities in the world - San Francisco (yes, I know I'm biased!), we have known for a while that we wanted to get married in Oregon. I grew up in Eugene and we met while in school at the University of Oregon. We both have a lot of history there and the summers, especially, just feel like home to me. I can't imagine getting married anywhere else. Beyond knowing the state we want to tie the knot in, we are pretty open. The areas we have been focusing on spans from Eugene, up north to Portland and, from there, east to Hood River and the Mount Hood area. With this vast area in mind, the next question I asked myself was – where can I picture getting married?

Sources: 1, 2

  • Vineyards: I grew up in the Willamette Valley, which is home to some beautiful vineyards and delicious wines! Chris and I had our first date at King Estate Winery and have visited many times since.
Sources: 1, 2, 3
  •  Farms/Ranches: Views, nature and a little country flair…what more could a bride ask for?!
  • The Beach: I grew up going to our condo at the Inn at Otter Crest, located about 8 miles north of Newport, Oregon. The Oregon coast is scenic and raw and would make for amazing pictures. The downside of an Oregon beach wedding? The weather. If I got married in a beach setting I would want it to be outside and Oregon beaches aren't exactly known for warm summer evenings. Cold and wind-blown wouldn't be a good look for me.
Source: 1, 2
  • Urban Scene: Portland isn’t just for shows about quirky, over-the-top Portlandians, it also has some great potential wedding spots. I am envisioning an industrial, exposed-brick-and-beams look for the reception. Possibly a little chapel for the ceremony (not because we are particularly religious, but I think it would be sweet and fun).
  • Hood River/Mount Hood area: ahhh, the views! If you’ve ever had the opportunity to drive along the Columbia River Gorge, which forms the boundary between the State of Washington to the north and Oregon to the south, you know it’s a sight to see. I was not surprised to hear that this area is increasing in popularity for weddings. A snow-capped mountain in the height of summer would be such a cool backdrop for the big day.

Brainstorming was the fun part. Next came the searching where I found out the hardest part about planning a destination wedding is just what I thought it would be – not being there! The internet has been a lifesaver for me over the past couple weeks in the quest to find the venue but, with that said, most of the websites are not designed with the destination couple in mind. It is so tough to get a feel for the space and its layout through the pictures most sites have posted. I keep thinking to myself ‘I don’t care about these people’s center pieces and wedding rings hanging from a grape vine; I want to see the space!’ This is where Google Earth’s Satellite and Street View’s have come in handy for me. I have been able to zoom in on the area and see the layout of these places. Why don’t more sites feature a floor plan?! (It could be the interior design student in me. Does anyone else think this?)

Not only has it been hard to get a feel for the spaces through companies’ websites, I quickly realized that venues are booking up for summer 2013. So last week we bought plane tickets for a long weekend trip up north to see some of these places in-person - we're leaving next Friday! I do feel lucky that our ‘destination’ is a quick and direct flight away!

With just a weekend to look at spots, we don’t have the luxury of spending weeks looking and visiting, going back and weighing our options, but the destination thing is forcing us to be efficient and I like that!

Are you having a destination wedding? Destination or not, did you have the same trouble with venue websites? What was your venue strategy?

Put a Ring on it :: Something Old, Something New

With this being my very first post on E&I, I thought it appropriate that I start at the beginning – the day I got engaged. Most of us ladies picture the moment of our proposal with a big shimmering diamond peeking out of that little box. My story happened a little differently (and I could not be happier with how it turned out!). My boyfriend, excuse me fiancé, Chris, proposed to me with his maternal grandmother’s wedding ring. It fits perfectly with the vintage style I love and is so special to have something that saw his grandmother through many wonderful years.

My Ring!

Chris’ idea was that this ring could be my wedding band and that we could go design the actual ‘engagement’ ring together later that day. He knows how picky I can be and while I know I would have loved whatever he chose on his own, I was thrilled to have a part in designing the ring. Chris’ family friend and jeweler, Lynn of Lynn Hill & Co., had been helping him with the process of fixing up the ring he gave me and he had an appointment for us that afternoon. I have loved pear-shaped rings for the past few years so I at least had that part figured out.

Here is some of my inspiration: 

Source - Clockwise from top left: 1, 2, 3, 4

The traditional way to wear pear stones is with the pointed side up, but I love that you can change the whole look by turning it over. Lynn was so patient while I tried on rings and figured out just how I wanted everything to look. While I thought I knew exactly what I wanted before I went in, I found it was a little more complicated when I actually got into the shop and had all the amazing options around me. Not to mention taking into account that I wanted the two rings to complement each other. I was imagining how guys must feel on their own picking out a ring – the pressure!

I finally came to all the decisions I needed to make and can’t wait to see the end result in a couple weeks. I decided on a thin, plain band (because with pave it just looked like too much going on along side the existing ring), bezel setting (since the ring will already be sitting high enough to get up over the wedding ring and prongs would make it even higher), and a halo around the main stone (hopefully I have all my jewelry lingo right!).

Did you have a hand in your engagement ring design or did you prefer to leave it up to your man? If you did go along to help design the ring, did you find it harder than you thought it would be?



Of course rings, jewelry and all things sparkly are so much fun to day dream about (and try on!), but this brings me to another thing I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks…staying grounded/calm/sane during this coming year. I think the first few weeks of being engaged are sort of the calm before the storm that can be wedding planning. Once reality sets in that you have a very important party to plan! In this time I have been thinking more big-picture – what it means to be getting married, what our dream wedding would be (if logistics and money were not factors), what things will be the most important to us on our wedding day and looking back on it.

Time and again I come back to two things that I know I want – 1. For our wedding to be a true reflection of Chris and me as individuals and as a couple along with the community and lives we have built together, and 2. For everyone to have FUN! I am hoping that if I can keep these two things at the back of my mind during this process, it will help me to be confident in the decisions I make and enjoy this special time as much as possible. Of course, I want other things too (i.e. great food, lovely décor, etc.), but I think by coming back to my main points of focus, I will be able to make decisions with more ease.

How are you staying grounded during your wedding planning? Do you find that having some basic theme or idea to come back to keeps you on the right track?