Feeling the Post-Wedding Glow

Well, over a year after I started blogging my eco-friendly wedding planning journey here in E&I, I am finally a Mrs. And it feels awesome!!! Our wedding day was the best day of our lives. We worked our butts off the week leading up to the wedding, crafting, running errands, and [trying to] make time for friends who were in town. We barely got any sleep that week and it was stressful beyond belief, but as soon as I saw Kyle on our wedding day, all of the stress over details melted away in a flood.

Our wedding was perfect.

As a perfectionist - and any other perfectionist can relate - I never say that word. Kyle and I went back to our beautiful hotel room that night, and we fell on the couch with grins from ear to ear and both said "It was perfect."

Everyone tells you that "things will go wrong, and it's okay." But honestly, nothing went wrong. A couple of things may not have gone exactly the way I dreamed it up in my head, but certainly nothing went wrong. It still holds true for both of us that this was indeed the best day of our lives. The time and energy that we put into every single detail paid off, and people noticed. Although we went over budget, the wedding would not have been what it was without those extra expenses. In the end, it was all worth it.

 Here's a photo our dear friend Dan took of me and Kyle at our rehearsal dinner at the end of the night, when we were about to say goodbye. We were so excited to finally marry each other, we couldn't let go.

I'll post wedding photos as soon as I can, and I've got another blog coming about the things they don't tell you about married life (what little bits I know of it, anyway). Thank you all for your support over the last year and for your help making decisions with me to put together the wedding of our dreams!!

Bachelorette Weekend {Girls Just Wanna Have Fun}

We are just 9 days away from the wedding and there is so much going on right now it's unbelievable. But let's just take a minute to focus on something fun, not stressful (like our rehearsal dinner caterer canceling on us 10 days before the event!!) Tomorrow I'll be heading up to Healdsburg to spend the weekend with 7 amazing women. Drinking wine, eating great food, relaxing by the fireplace. They each mean so much to me and have supported me through different periods in my life. I am so excited to get away with them for my bachelorette weekend!

C Magazine, photo by Lauren Ross

We rented a house in the Alexander Valley, just a few minutes outside of downtown Healdsburg. We're surrounded by wineries, so we'll spend our Saturday walking to a few wineries and tasting all that the Alexander Valley has to offer. We'll cook together and laugh together, and most importantly I'll have a chance to reflect on what's coming in the week ahead and refocus, now that I'm done doing the balancing act between work and wedding.

  Top left: Haute Living; Top right: Brides, photo by Amanda Marsalis; Bottom: Inspired by This, photo by Caroline at Tiny Water

I love these girls and am inspired in unique and beautiful ways by each of them. I hope that this weekend will honor every one of them, and kick off my wedding week with a bang!

Inspired by This, photo by Caroline at Tiny Water Photography

Is there anything particularly awesome that we must make sure to do this bachelorette weekend?

Only one more post to go. Eek!

Good People Drink Good Beer (...wine and spirits)

Thank you Hunter S. Thompson for that magnificent quote. As I mentioned many moons ago, Kyle and I are craft beer nerds. Therefore, we are have a craft beer theme at our wedding. We just finalized much of the list with our caterer/bartender and a local market we love (go Mill Valley Market!) to make it all happen.

We opted for a wine and beer bar with a signature drink option, and the one requirement I had was that everything had to be California made - and even better if it's local to the Bay Area! There are so many elements to the alcohol at our wedding, it's hard to know where to start. So let me break it down into categories...


In order to make things even more complicated for myself, for the last 6 months or so I've been on a mission to find a wine to serve for dinner that is not only local, but tastes great, has an awesome label design, and hits the $10-$15 per bottle range. It's exhausting to just think about it.

But, one day when we were strolling through Whole Foods, we spotted a cool label and a $10.99 price. Perfect! We bought the wine, called Hey Mambo Sultry Red, and loved it. And there's a running joke in our household about Dean Martin's version of Mambo Italiano which just made it even more perfect... basically I love that song and go dancing around the house like an idiot whenever it comes on the Pandora playlist, and Kyle laughs at me. That's the joke.

I did a little research and found out that the wine maker, The Other Guys, was just up the road in Sonoma and made a variety of different wines under a variety of labels. Seeing as we not only needed to find a red and white for our dinner tables, but 4 more wines for our bar (2 reds and 2 whites), this was very convenient. We emailed them to see where we could taste their wines and received a prompt response saying that they'd send us a few bottles to try. Awesome! Well, a couple of days later we received a gigantic box with 9 BOTTLES of wine in it, and a little note that said "Happy Engagement!"

Are you kidding me?! Well, The Other Guys just shot to the top of our list for all of our wine. They embodied exactly what we love about the craft beer industry: cool guys who love what they make and just want to share it with everyone. What a breath of fresh air! So Kyle spent a day running around to a couple of local shops to buy a sampling of more of their wines, and soon enough we ended up with 17 bottles of The Other Guys' wine.

Over the last few weeks we've been solidly drinking wine and sharing wine with friends and just 100% wine all the time. But we're really confident in the great selection of wine we've picked for our wedding - from MooBuzz to Plungerhead to Hey Mambo. They all are under $20, taste amazing, and have fantastic labels!

Whiny Vegans


In January, I wrote a blog post about wanting to make craft beer an integral part of our wedding. Well skip ahead to now (2 1/2 weeks before the wedding!) and we've definitely succeeded at that. Kyle, the writer in the family, is working hard on writing some fantastic descriptions for our Beer Bible, while I'm designing the cover. We've completed the arduous task of picking beers to pair with the food for our dinner...


And we have 42 out of 64 adults participating in the dinner beer pairing! We've got two fantastic beers selected for this: one for the salad, and one for the main course. I have to give a shout out to our awesome caterer, Katie Powers, for making all of our beer dreams come true. She's been 100% up to all of the obnoxious beer ideas we have. I think we found a fellow beer geek!

Serious Eats

So far we have 20 different types of beer selected for our Beer Bible. And I know once we pop into City Beer Store or Beer Revolution to pick up a few of the hard-to-find bottles the list will probably grow. But I am so excited to share some of our favorite California beers with our guests. We've got beers from Russian River, Stone, Green Flash, Lost Abbey, Port, The Bruery, and AleSmith.

Signature Drink

As you saw a while back, I was testing a variety of cocktails to serve as our signature drink. Truth be told, I REALLY wanted to feature the Terroir Gin made by St. George Spirits just across the bay in Alameda. The entire bottle has an epic vintage look to it, including the apropos image of a California brown bear and Mount Tamalpais (for anyone who isn't from the Bay Area, Mt. Tam is the amazing mountain that sits in Marin County overlooking the entire bay, and conveniently located right next to our little wedding venue). When I read that the distiller actually foraged for herbs from Mt. Tam to make this gin, I was pretty much determined to feature it at our wedding, despite it's different pine-y, earthy smells and tastes.

Whiskey Detectives

When we went to Healdsburg for our 6 year anniversary, we popped into SpoonBar and I saw our signature cocktail: The Basil Gimlet. It was the most perfect use of this interesting gin.

Smith & Ratliff

A couple of weeks later we had one of my bridesmaids and her husband over to do a taste test of 3 cocktails, and this was the winner. I can't wait to serve it at our wedding, and showcase an amazing local distillery!

So there you have it! One of the gigantic and overwhelming tasks is complete and I feel fantastic about the California brewers, wine makers, and distillery that we are featuring at our wedding.

How did you go about picking the wine, beer, and spirits for your wedding? Did you find any gems like we did?

DIY Cake Topper Cutouts

I've seen so many cute silhouette cake toppers on Pinterest lately, that I thought I'd have a stab at my own. And while I'm at it, why not personalize it? If you recall, our Save the Dates had a little pirate theme that we screen printed. I wanted to replicate that design for our cake toppers. So, here we go... here's how to make customized cake topper cutouts!

Materials needed:

- Paper (I used cardstock black and glitter red from Paper Source)

- Wooden Skewers

- X-Acto Knife

- Mat for cutting

- Glue (I used Elmer's)

- Printouts of what you want your silhouettes to be

- Heavy books

- Scotch tape

For a double sided cake topper, like the hearts I made, fold your paper in half and tape it closed on the sides. Then tape your stencil to the paper, so it doesn't slide around when you're cutting.

Trace the stencil lines, pushing as hard as you can! You have 3 layers of paper to get through, but don't worry if you can't cut all of the way through. If you're like me and don't have the willpower to cut through all 3 layers of paper, take your stencil off, and trace back over the lines you cut with your X-Acto knife, pushing all of the way through the paper.



Match up the hearts (or whatever shape you're doing) that are the same size, and put glue on the backs of just one of each of the pairs. Then stick the wooden skewer on the middle of the heart with glue, with the pointy side inside of the heart (leaving the blunt end of the skewer at the other end - basically the opposite of what I'm showing below). Roll the stick around a bit to spread the glue.


Press the matching hearts together, pushing them together around the skewer. Wipe off any glue that squeezes out of the sides. Then cover each half of the heart with a heavy book. Basically, push two books up next to each other so they both meet at the skewer. Leave it alone for a day as it dries!


When the hearts are dry, take your X-Acto knife and cut around the edges so there are no white spots sticking out. You may also want to color in the white edges with a red pen (or whatever colors you're using), so you don't see any white. And now you have some cute glittery heart cake toppers!

As for a more complicated stencil, where you probably only want to cut out one silhouette (because cutting out matching ones would be impossible!), it's all basically the same. You just have to be much more careful when you're cutting.


Once you think you have the entire stencil cut out, remove the stencil from your paper. Finish cutting all of the lines and corners very carefully directly on the paper, so it pops out clean and easy. Then glue or tape your cutout to a skewer.

Then stick it on a cake, take a picture, and eat the cake. You've earned it!

I rather enjoyed this delicious vegan chocolate cake from Café Indigo after all of this :)

The Four Somethings

My mom emailed me last week asking me if I had figured out what I was doing for my "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue." Truthfully, I hadn't thought about this since my very initial stages of planning over a year ago when I bought a blue handkerchief while Kyle and I were in New Zealand. Out of curiosity I looked this up to see where it originated, and what it really means. And, thanks to Wikipedia, I learned a new thing or four!

"Something old" symbolizes continuity with the bride's family and the past.

"Something new" means optimism and hope for the bride's new life ahead.

"Something borrowed" reminds the bride that she can depend on her friends and family.

"Something blue" refers to a long tradition of blue at weddings, going all the way back to ancient Roman times when brides wore blue to symbolize love, modesty, and fidelity.

I have my "something new," which is pretty much everything I'm wearing. I have my "something blue," which is that little handkerchief which I'll keep for my happy tears. But here's some traditional ideas, and some new inspiration for all of the four somethings!

Something Old

  Unabashedly Gloves at BHLDNBubbly Bride; Top Knots, photo by Carrie Patterson; BHLDN gloves

Something New

Jenny Packham Acacia Bridal Headdress I Silver

If this wasn't silk, this would have been a serious contender for me!  Cherished Heirloom Scarf - for my motherJenny Packham, Johanna Johnson, BHLDN

Something Borrowed

  One Wed, photo by Thousand Word Photography; Style Me Pretty, photo by Hannah Persson ;Style Me Pretty, photo by Tohnya Kae Photography

Something Blue

  Silver Tendrils Studs at BHLDNStyle Me Pretty, photo by Andi Hatch; BHLDN; Style Me Pretty, photo by Sequins and Candy

Did you do the four somethings at your wedding, or are you planning on doing them for your wedding day? I'd love to hear what you used, and what meaning those items held for you! I am searching for ideas and inspiration.

DIY Invitations Revealed

After spending a year oohing and ahhing over all of the gorgeous invitation suites I saw on Pinterest, we reached a point where we finally had to come up with our own. And as with everything else, to my fiancé's dismay, I needed it to be DIY. Let me briefly digress by saying that every line on my exhaustive (and exhausting) budget is a chance for a little competition. Hence the overkill on DIY projects.

Oh, hello budget. You think my invitations are going to cost $800? Well, think again!

Anyways, after several trips to Paper Source and FedEx Kinko's, and after a couple of crying fits in front of Photoshop, we finally finished our eco-friendly DIY invitations. Et voilà!

And here is the whole thing constructed and deconstructed...


"One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple." - Jack Kerouac

Remember the Kerouac quote on the envelope? It's one of our favorites, so we tied it into the invitation wording :)

And Kyle even drew custom maps for us!


I have to admit that even though I never wanted to look at another invitation in my entire life by the time we got these in the mail, I was quite eager to hear what people thought. I mean, I watercolored 199 pieces of paper and Kyle typed 106 custom RSVP cards and envelopes after all!

Here is what we did in summary: I designed the invitations on Photoshop using some cool free fonts, Kyle drew the maps by hand and we scanned them in, we bought all of the paper products from Paper Source (all at least 30% recycled!) including the vintage San Francisco postcards, bought eco-friendly hemp string and antique sailboat charms from etsy, found some great 1950s sports car stamps for the postcards on ebay, bought the rest of the stamps from the regular old Post Office, had everything printed and cut at FedEx Kinko's, glued the envelope liners into the envelopes, watercolored a bunch of things, tied figure 8 knots on all of the strings to attach the sailboat charms, typed the RSVP cards and envelopes on our 1920 Underwood typewriter, drank a bunch of wine, and finally put all 53 invites together. Phew!

ALL of this, all of the postage, paper, supplies, sticky tape, paint brushes, printing, etc cost $360. Well under my $800 budget. Take that budget!!

So, what do you think? I'm dying to hear!


Today is exactly 50 days from my wedding day. 50 DAYS. I think I'm in shock. Just 50 days ago it felt like we had a million years to get all of my little projects and concepts completed. Now every single day is just slipping through my fingers. Thankfully this past weekend we got away for a couple of days to celebrate our 6th anniversary. We ran away in the Triumph to Healdsburg for some sunning, wine tasting, and a mind-blowing vegan dinner at Cyrus. It was a bit weird to think that this was our last anniversary as boyfriend and girlfriend, fiancé and fiancée. So now what happens... do we start back over at one again?

Anyways, among all the impending decisions I need to make, one of the fun ones is picking a purse!


A vintage clutch would be lovely. Or a modern art deco inspired clutch would make me just as happy. So let's fantasize for just a minute about the absurdly expensive ones.

Streamline Bridal Purse top: Judith Leiber clutch, bottom: Bijou Tresor clutch

Okay, now that I've drooled on the keyboard, let's look at the more affordable ones.

Genji Deco Clutch - Anthropologie.com Genji Deco Clutch - Anthropologie.comSomething blue

Pearly Beaded Hardcase Clutch Sugar Sparkle Hardcase Clutchtop: Anthropologie, middle: Monsoon Accessorize, bottom left: Monsoon Accessorize, bottom right: Monsoon Accessorize

I'm really loving the idea of using a clutch as my something blue. What do you think?

Do you have any great tips for where to find a cute vintage inspired clutch? Which one is your favorite? Do you even need a clutch on your wedding day?

Girly Time {Flower Girls}

Last week I sent cute little cards to my four flower girls (my 2 nieces and Kyle's 2 nieces) officially asking them to be in my wedding entourage, and they agreed! Lucky me! They're all so adorable, I cant wait to see them all dressed up and ready to lead the way down the aisle. Now I get the fun task of choosing what they're going to wear. And I love shopping. Particularly virtual window shopping. (Does that make me a bit strange?)

I really love this modern, sort-of bohemian princess look with the long tulle skirt and the the flowers in their hair.

sourced from Style Me Pretty, photos by Sara Donaldson

Or I can go with the always-a-good-choice clothing shop, J. Crew. I mean, let's face it, everyone else in my wedding is wearing J. Crew. I may as well put everyone in their beautiful clothes!

top: Style Me Pretty, photo by KT Merry; left: Brides, photo by Jose Villa; right: Style Me Pretty, photo by Veil and Bow

I really love all of the white dress options and their sparkly flats!

Girls' organdy plumeria dressGirls' glitter bow ballet flatsJ. Crew dress and shoes

I've also heard of brides who are way cooler than me that let their flower girls dress up as their favorite character and dance down the aisle. How great would that be for them?!

What are your flower girls wearing? Which style do you like better of the two above? I need to start making some decisions!


Choosing Our Wedding Bands

I've never gone jewelry shopping. Well, I've never really gone shopping for REAL jewelry. The good stuff. So when this last weekend Kyle and I went shopping for our wedding bands, I was really nervous. I finally got a little glimpse into how nervous he must have felt when he picked out my engagement ring. The poor guy!


There were only two places I wanted to go. First was the wonderful jeweler Kyle bought my engagement ring from. They have been amazing from the day Kyle met them, and anytime since that I have been in their shop. It's called Johann Paul Jewelers in San Anselmo, and it's owned by two Kiwis (New Zealanders, not fruit). Since I spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, we hit it off right away. I love those guys, especially Paul. We hadn't been in the store in over a year, but Paul remembered us and knew all these sweet little life details that I forgot we had told him.

By the way, here's a tip: get your ring cleaned every damn day if you can! I hadn't had mine cleaned for over a year, so when I walked in that's the first thing they insisted. Holy crap?! It was like 10 times more sparkley! Kyle and I were both shocked! Apparently I put my hands in dirty places too often. Needless to say, I've been enjoying the particularly special shine this week :)

We talked to him about what I wanted, which, truth be told, I wasn't sure about. I wasn't sure if I wanted a straight ring or a curved ring to fit snugly with my engagement ring. What if I wanted to wear the band by itself one day? Or if I wanted something simple for traveling and outdoorsy things? I tried on a beautiful straight ring that looked gorgeous with my engagement ring.

Then I tried on a curved ring, and knew that's what I wanted. I mean, it was just instantly WAY better, and it looked like a beautiful, cohesive (anyone else think of Project Runway when you hear that word?) piece of jewelry. So we talked to him about having the designer of my engagement ring (eco-friendly, local, and awesome designer Yael) make a custom band to fit together with my engagement ring. Yay! Easy!

Then we talked to him about bands for Kyle, and Kyle knew even less about what he wanted. I always thought he'd look great with something a little modern, a little rustic, but definitely unique and handmade. Since Kyle works with his hands a lot, the one thing we knew was that his ring had to be tough. Basically it needed to be able to be smashed with a hammer and not break in two or smoosh around Kyle's finger. That meant gold was out because it was too soft, and tungsten was no good either because it's too hard, you can't get it off a swollen finger.

He tried on some titanium bands that had rings of wood or carbon fiber by local designer Jerry Spaulding. He felt so awkward about wearing a ring. He was so quick to pull them off. He kept exclaiming how weird it was to wear a ring. Poor guy, it'll take some getting used to. He ended up loving a matte titanium ring with a thin offset carbon fiber band in it. But we still had one more store I wanted to check out.

Solid TitaniumSolid TitaniumSolid Titanium

Naturally we drove the Triumph convertible into the city to check out Manika Jewelry, which specializes in jewelry handmade by local artists. They had more limited options as far as wedding bands, but I loved the idea of something that had a really organic feel to it, so I wanted to check this place out. He tried on a few beautiful rings by Redstart, and especially liked one called "Stream" that had a hand carved line cut through the band, resembling a stream.

Mens Stream Collection                 Mens Stream Collection

After a beer at City Beer Store, Kyle decided he liked the ring by Jerry Spaulding best. A beer well spent, I say!

So there we are, we have our wedding bands picked out. I can hardly wait for him to slip it on my finger!!

How was your wedding band shopping experience? Was it easy? Stressful? Was your hubby equally as awkward about trying on rings? Do tell!

Breaking the Ice {Table Games}

This past weekend I was lucky enough to attend the wedding of one of my dearest friends Caroline who has been with her now-husband Carter almost exactly as long as Kyle and I have been together. Among many of the personal elements that I loved about the wedding, one thing that both Kyle and I loved was the little hand-stamped packet that was set at each place setting filled with one fake mustache and one set of false teeth.

We knew no one there before the wedding, but by the end we felt like we had made great new friendships with so many people. And I think we can thank the mustaches for that.

Needless to say, we loved this idea! Now I'm looking for inspiration for some other fun and awesome ice breakers for wedding reception tables. Here are just a few that I have found.

Photos by Emma Case

Isn't this cool? Guest pick a button out of the jar and write some "words of wisdom" based on the word on the button. Better yet, it doubles as your guest book. There's a great DIY with printables over at Rock My Wedding for this darling Jar of Hearts!

  Top left: Penny for Your Thoughts; Top right: Date Night; Bottom: He Said, She Said

Have you been to a wedding with some great dinner table ice breakers? If so, what were they? We really want to do this at our wedding, and want to hear your ideas!