Invitation Wording {it's in the details}

Invitation Wording4Source

A few weeks ago I decided to hire an E&I alumn to design my invitations! I remembered back when she posted about her own invitations, here, and I had to find out if she was still designing. Well, she was! And she has been the best, most helpful designer I could have asked for. Click here to visit Kimberly's website.

I wasn't sure I could do custom-designed invitations while staying within my budget. But with the few special things I wanted to incorporate on my invites, it was going to be hard to just order them through a template. So I reached out to Kim and she walked me through the process and quickly turned me from being totally overwhelmed with not knowing what to do, into being really excited about all of the options. She also helped navigate the printing process and recommend some different printers.

We are now collaborating about the design and figuring out the wording. With all the options, it can be tough to pick which direction to go you want them to be silly, funny, quirky, formal, religious, simple...the list goes on. I have been leaning in the direction of making them sweet and personal. Here are some I'm liking.

Invitation Wording1 Source

Like the wording on these - "...invite you to join them on a most spectacular day..." and "...invite you to share in their true love and marriage..."

Invitation Wording2 Source: left, right

The one on the right is sweet - "All the Roads led to you. You're invited to celebrate the start of a new path for..."

mint1 right

Invitation Wording Source: left, right

I like the ends of these: "dinner, dancing and revelry to follow!" and "Dancing, Drinks and fun to follow"

If you are trying to figure out the wording for your invitations, Invitation Consultants and Offbeat Bride are some great resources. The first has a TON of great ideas for different situations - eloping, destination weddings, how to include parents' names, etc. The second has some more quirky and funny ideas.

How did you pick your invitation wording?

Wedding Vendors I Love

This years marks my third wedding season. Over the years I have had the chance to work with some wonderful vendors to make a wedding day come to life. I receive emails asking for vendor recommendations, so here is the list I send to every bride. So here favorites. The people that I'd love to work every wedding with. The people that I'd trust with my own wedding. The people that know how to create something beautiful and amazing every single time. These are the people that blow me away, and they will do the same for you.


Holman Ranch: Pretty sure my obsession with Holman Ranch has been sufficiently documented on Engaged & Inspired by now. But seriously, how is this not the most amazing place that ever existed?


Paradise Catering: You know how at weddings the food just tastes ok? Paradise changes that every. single. time. The first time I tasted their food I was in awe. Every single dish was better than the last. The appetizers were to die for, the vegan spring roll and peanut chicken skewers are my two absolute faves. I used them for my own wedding, and I would highly suggest everyone else does the same.

I have had the extreme pleasure of working with them since my own wedding. From the standpoint of a vendor working with another vendor, I know everything is going to be ok if Paradise is catering. They run one tight ship. The entire crew knows exactly what they are doing and every time the execution is flawless. They know what they are doing and they do it well. Very well.


Delbarr Moradi: I could gush about this girl all. day. long. Every single image she takes is gorgeous. She puts so much thought into her photographs and always makes her couples shine. Aside from the fact that she takes some of the best photos you will probably ever see, she is one of the sweetest people as well.

Carlie Statsky: I love this girl. Her photographs are breathtaking and she is one of the easiest people to get along with. For those non-model-types like me, it really helps to be very comfortable with the person behind the camera, and she is so good at making your comfortable. Let's just say I've been stalking her for a very long time. I'm obsessed.

Pictilio: This is one fun-loving photo team that make your day so much fun and totally romantic. They are a treat to work with and have some amazing images to show for all their great work. They shot my sister's wedding (which was on Green Wedding Shoes + Huffington Post) and I was so impressed with the images. I loved every single one.


Floral Theory: I mean, best florist in the world? Yes. No seriously. Yes. Some florists are just florists, but this girl takes it to the next level. She doesn't think only as a florist, but she thinks as a designer. How are the colors, elements and textures going to fit with tablescapes. How about your bouquet against your dress. She takes it to the next level and is worth every penny.


Huckleberry Karen:


Sweet Celebrations: Being obsessed with mini-anything like I am, I love that they offer mini cakes for your wedding day. She also has an incredible menu of desserts & cakes but if you ask me, mini cakes are the best. And the taste? So good.


Sweet Tooth Confections:

Hair & Makeup:

Melissa Hoffman


Milkglass Vintage Rentals: Milkglass Vintage is my favorite vintage rental company out there. She has the most amazing style and taste. I wanted just about every piece for my wedding, I loved it all. Since my wedding, she has grown a massive collection and even has a warehouse of goods now. Talk about vintage heaven. If you're looking for some good stuff to make your wedding a little more special, this is the place to go.

Six Month Countdown {check-in}

I am officially less than six months away from my wedding date! I keep counting it out on my fingers, thinking I'm wrong :-) The wedding planning is continuing to move along, but I have a feeling these next six months are going to fly by, especially once the festivities start getting under way. This week I booked my bachelorette flight and can not wait to be in Palm Springs with my favorite ladies celebrating my last days as a 'single' woman!

This week I needed to step back and look at the bigger picture before I delve into the little details like invitation design, table-scaping and bride accessories. So, I thought what better way to 'step back' than to get inspired by images from my wedding photographer, Sean Morrison Photography.

Love these kinds of shots. Is it called a fish eye lens?


Nature, laughs, and love.

How cute is she?!


And some fun shots...


Looking at these pictures has me excited to dig into my next few tasks on my to do list. Nothing like some great images to get the inspiration going. The thing I love about my photographer is that he does wedding photography because it's his passion, not just his job. During the school year, he teaches digital photography at a high school in Washington. It's great to know my photographer really loves what he does. I think that comes through in his work.

My To Do List for the next few weeks:

- finding my hair and makeup person/people

- florist

- bridesmaid dresses - coordinating the mix-and-match look

Do you have any advice for me in the six-month countdown? Are you getting married this summer? Would love to hear how your planning is going!

Saying Yes to the Dress {again}

Okay, I'm just gonna say it - I'm guilty of buying two dresses. I've heard of women doing this and thought - that would never happen to me! Well, last week I bought dress #2. And I couldn't be happier!

Source: left, right

I bought my first dress a few months back and I loved it. But a couple weeks ago I was surfing wedding blogs and came across an amazing dress...a couple clicks later, I realized it was one of the dresses I tried on that was over my budget, but that I loved. So, I thought, instead of regretting not trying just because I already have a dress, I'll do a little searching for used/second hand options. I thought, if I don't find it, it's not meant to be and I'll be perfectly happy with the dress I already have.


Well, after coming back to my search a week later, one popped up. And it was in San Francisco. And it seemed to be in my measurements. And it was listed for almost 70% off the retail price. So of course I had to go look. It was just too good to be true. But it wasn't. It fit almost exactly and was in near-perfect condition. So here I am today with two dresses. Luckily I also bought my first dress at a discount, so I'm confident I can sell it and not lose much money.



Moral of the story for me was to plan, but then just let things happen. Control to a point, but then trust that it will work out. I would have been happy with the first option, but I sure am glad it worked out the way it did. I think this holds true for other wedding planning things...missed out on that venue you had your heart set on? Bridesmaid dresses you wanted are discontinued? Trust that the right thing will come along. And keep looking. It will all fall together just right.

Did you have second thoughts on your dress? Did you see a dress that caught your eye after you already had your dress?

Big thanks to Julie from Encore Bridal!

Showering the Bride {themes}

When I was home over the holidays my cousin offered to host a bridal shower for me! I am beyond excited that I will get to have a shower in my home state and get to see so many of the ladies who will be at my wedding a few months later. The next thing she asked me was what kind of shower I wanted to have, themes, etc. And to tell the truth, I had never thought of this before...I mean I know showers have themes and their own unique flair, but I had never thought about how mine would be. I will be happy with some great ladies around me, a fun game or two, and something to eat and sip on. But, of course, I started some searching to get inspiration. Whether you are planning a shower for someone or looking forward to your own, it is fun to look at all the creative ideas.

Being a lover of perfume, I think this Coco Chanel, French-themed shower is pretty darn cute. And before you start thinking that this is way too over the top - Yes, it is a 'shoot' (not a real shower), but adorable nonetheless.

Guests could mix their own scents.


I don't think I was a Girl Scout long enough to be qualified for this shower, but wow, so awesome!


How about this tiki-themed shower. So fun!

These ladies did flower arranging.


Love the how they took the traditional pink flamingos and turned them gold!

And here we have a 60's-inspired fete.


Are you having a 'themed' bridal shower? Did you do something related to your wedding?

Photography {time is of the essence}

This week we booked our photographer! Soooo excited and relieved to have that checked off our list. More on photography in a future post! This week, along with the photography, I have been thinking a lot about the wedding day timeline. I came across a great article that spoke to this and was happy to see that my day-of timeline was in line with their recommendations, phew! Here is a list of their ten common wedding day timing mistakes:

1. Not scheduling enough time for hair & make-up.


2. Attending your final dress fitting alone. This has to do with your ladies understanding how your dress works and therefore saving some potential headaches...the hooks and buttons can be hard to navigate!


3. Not having everyone get dressed early enough. This is about making sure people are dressed before you are so that your mother, father, bridesmaids, etc. are lookin' their best when the photo ops come up.


4. Too much distance (between where you want to get ready and the ceremony location). For my wedding we'll be getting ready about a 30-minute drive from the wedding site. Even this somewhat short distance has proven a little tricky to plan around when we start thinking about things like hair and makeup time, pictures, and transportation.


5. Not planning out time for family pictures. The article makes a great point that it's not often you have so much of your family in the same place with a professional photographer.


6. Cutting it too close with the limos (or any transportation you are using). If you are having transportation like us, you know this all too well. We kept trying to figure out how to cut down the hours, but finally realized the extra money would be well worth it to have things run smoothly on the day of the wedding.


7. Not scheduling time to mingle with your guests.


8. Too little time between the ceremony and the reception. This doesn't apply to those of us having the ceremony and reception at the same place, but a good thing to consider for those who have two locations. This article basically says, don't worry about having time between the two. Guests will have plenty to keep themselves busy.


9. Not doing a "first look."


10. Failing to give yourself a "cushion."



See the full article here.

My fiance and I decided to do a "first look" for several reasons, one of them being the day-of timing. We really want to be relaxed and have plenty of time to do the photos with each other, our wedding party, and our families and not feel like we are missing out on the party! And since our ceremony and reception are at the same place, we won't have time in between to do photos.

Do you have any wedding day timing tips? Did you do a first look?

Thankful for {family}

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays (I think I say this at every holiday). I love Thanksgiving because it's all about bringing loved ones together to cook and enjoy a wonderful meal and remember what we are all thankful for. No presents. Just family, football, lazy couch time, cooking together, feasting and a long weekend ahead. ahhh I love Thanksgiving! So this week I've been thinking a lot about family and how we can incorporate our past generations into our wedding day, show a little bit of our families' histories, and also honor some people who will be there in spirit. I love the idea of using pictures, because it adds a personal touch and gives guests a chance to see that you have your grandma's nose or your grandpa's gap-tooth. You can't go wrong with pictures.

Source: all images above

Source: Mason Jar Photos

Source: Lockets on Bouquet

Are you doing something special to honor your family?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you enjoy the holiday with those you love!

Setting the Mood {with Food}

Hi E&Iers! I'm back after an amazing long weekend in Southern California at fellow blogger Taya's wedding (aka my future sister in law!). It was such a great weekend filled with laughs, dancing, friends, family, new friends and new family, in a gorgeous was everything a great wedding should be. I could go on and on, but I'll let Taya tell you herself when she gets back from her honeymoon. :-)

Onto my topic of the week - food! You might remember my post, here, on finding a caterer who would work with us in making everything affordable, while still including the elements we really wanted - quality, local food, family style dinner, etc. Well, we finally found them and it was worth the wait! My favorite thing about the caterers we found was that the owner, and lead lady of this husband-and-wife-owned catering company, really listened to what we wanted and figured out where to cut corners and where it made sense to splurge a little.


I am so relieved to have our catering booked! I believe food can really help set the mood of the day - the cuisine is just one more place to infuse your style as a couple. Loving how these weddings used food to help set the vibe of their wedding day.





My advice to fellow brides out there is that if you are not finding what you're looking for and you are getting a lot of 'nos' to what you believe is a reasonable request, keep looking and don't give up! Ask lots of questions and reach out to new vendors until you find someone who is ready to have a conversation and work with you. I think it's also good to know what things you absolutely know you want and what things you would be okay not having. For me, I knew I wanted family style dinner, but I was okay giving up the filet mignon.

If you are getting married in the Gorge and looking for a caterer, check out Boda's Kitchen. Ask for Sirota Johnston, the owner and boss laday. She's awesome.

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?