Archive for the ‘Marriage’ Category


Wedding Wrapup: Reflecting on what actually mattered

August 13, 2010

Hello dear readers, I apologize for my significantly long absence. Finals came and went, then the wedding was fast approaching as well as many life changes such as moving Joe and myself. Time has flown by since May, and I am now successfully and happily married. When someone asks me what my favorite moment was about the whole day, I admit it was driving away from our reception yelling with joy that we were done with the whole event. But I definitely have to say that I genuinely liked our wedding. It was really pretty, and fun, and simple, and sweet, and odd. So here’s a little recap on what mattered, what I may have differently and what was successful.

Get Help

Planning a wedding can make you feel crazy. And overwhelmed. The number one relief to this is to let go of your psychotic need to control every detail and let people help you. This may mean you need to let people take their own initiative and contribute their own ideas/style… but if people offer TAKE THEM UP ON IT. People love helping you out, and it will make the event more special to them and they will feel honored to help you. Plus, a lot of people go ape over the opportunity to pretty up an event.  It was such a relief for me to write a check in the amount of our entire food budget and simply hand it over to my very capable, very tasteful friend. I simply trusted that she would make the food awesome. And she did. She assembled an ARMY of women enlisted to bake dozens of cupcakes, wash dishes continuously for 6 hours, puree sweet potatoes, rock babies and hang out. She also produced every single serving tray/dish we could possibly need and made them all cute and match somehow.  The decorations were a similar story: all I had planned were homegrown flowers but before I knew it an arch was being constructed for us and hundreds of mason jars and handmade centerpieces and antique textiles materialized out of thin air.  The day of the wedding was really a miracle. It rained cats and dogs but then cleared up a few hours before the wedding, allowing my team of ladies to scurry out to the field and construct a cute, pretty, magical reception site. I did literally nothing. It was awesome.  So I cannot emphasize enough: DELEGATE. Let people take their own initiative and contribute their own creative ideas. It will save you a lot of stress, time and decision making.

Hosting is hard work when you are introverted

I was overly optimistic that I could relax, help out with food prep, hang out with friends AND try to host people while trying to remain unstressed and not exhausted feeling. I start feeling a little crazy when I’m around people for too long, so I felt I made an unwise choice for myself being in the middle of everything non stop. The wedding was at Joe’s parents’ house which has a few out buildings. But all the action was happening at the main house: there were women and kids and babies and dogs and food and friends from out of town and family coming and going non stop. We ran out of room for babies to nap. We ran out of room for people to sleep. It was pretty nuts and I felt a little crazy. One of the only times I cried was Thursday night after feeling torn into many directions: feeling so obligated to help and host but feeling so wiped out. I took a night time walk into the field and cried and cried and prayed and prayed until I felt relief. Thankfully some friends of ours volunteered to put up a bunch of people, and that really helped me out with the hosting aspect. I booked a hotel room for myself and some close girlfriends Friday night, and I really wish I had done that a night earlier just to get away.

Forgo the traditions that don’t matter to you (and don’t be afraid to make your own)

Joe and I really struggled with planning our ceremony…. it seemed to be the thing we kept pushing back. Finally when we got to Missouri Joe’s dad (who married us) helped us write the thing. It ended up being very simple, sweet and short. We wanted to acknowledge our faith and our commitment before God, but we didn’t want our wedding to be like some preachy church service that would make our non-believing friends feel creeped out.  We also decided not to do personal vows, on account of me feeling like I was going to lose it publicly if I tried to read something super super heartfelt and private out loud. We decided to exchange more personal vows privately… which we still haven’t done. I decided to make my vow into a video for Joe and I’m excited to do this special thing for him to express my commitment to him personally.

Joe and I didn’t connect with any wedding traditions such as a unity candle or sands or whatever. We felt they were cool metaphors, but fairly obvious metaphors. We instead decided to take communion together since it was a ritual we both agreed with. Joe’s best friends played original songs and a hymn during our ceremony, which was a great way to involve them since we only had our brothers and sister stand up with us.   We did not toss a bouquet or garter, we did not have dancing, we did not have a bridal party, we did not have assigned seating, we did not have speeches. We also realized that we forgot to inform people we weren’t doing the driving away thing, so we just said good bye to our friends and took off…. and I guess some people were waiting around for the send off or whatever. Whoops.

We really wanted our wedding and reception to be casual and light hearted. We had games and snacks and a photobooth. People got pretty into it…

One of my favorite silly aspects of our reception was our Unity Volcano… which started as a joke idea and turned into a reality thanks to our talented friend Andrea. She constructed an awesome golden paper mache volcano which erupted jello and sparkles. It was a riot.

Joe and I felt so blessed and served by a huge, loving community of family and friends. Our wedding was truly a collaborative effort and celebration of family and extended family. The way that people served us with their time and help has literally changed my entire perspective of what it means to love your family…. even when you aren’t related. I am so proud and thankful to be welcomed into this beautiful community that has such a strong capacity to love and serve. My wedding was more than just the celebration of the love between Joe and I, but a greater love that binds us together as a family in faith.

So, dear readers. This is the end. Thanks so much for keeping up with my process as I planned my wedding. It was a pleasure to get to know some of you and be supported by you as you endeavored into the world of weddings as well.

Signing off…..



Walker Sky Pesher wedding

April 4, 2010

I had never been to the Sky Pesher piece at the Walker until this weekend when I went with my sister.  The Sky Pesher is an underground display where you sit and look up through a pristine white ‘frame’ that creates a picturesque and peaceful view of the sky.  The installation is serene and lovely, and I was delighted to find out that a wedding took place there!

A quote from the City Pages blog:

“We were initially worried that 30 people would be close quarters, but thankfully everyone was able to sit on the benches surrounding us during our ceremony. To the best of my knowledge, no one has been married in Sky Pesher before. We liked it as a location for the wedding. My wife and I are not religious, but there is a sanctity and spirtuality to the space. My wife is studying to become a landscape architect, so a connection to the earth is a big part of both of our lives right now.”


Kate and Caleb’s Story

March 9, 2010

I had the honor of creating a video recently for my friends Kate and Caleb.  As part of the ceremony they wanted a way to share their story with their loved ones using images and sound, so they decided a video would be the way to go!  They also wanted to voice their perspective on marriage as one formed by faith by sharing verses from the Bible that have been important in their view of marriage and their pursuit of one another. Be inspired by the story of two beautiful people of faith choosing to join their lives together.


Ready, aim, fire

March 2, 2010

Hi dear readers,

Sorry I haven’t been posting thrilling, lovely posts lately.  This past week was crazy with a 2 day stomach flu, 2 exams, a couple papers and a big video project that consumed most of my weekend.

Yesterday I experienced my first hour of free time in a while.  I had literally an hour before I had to go test my video’s audio levels at the venue and I felt so lost and… aimless.  I realized in this hour that I have an incredibly ‘aimed’ life right now.  School, work, cultivating good relationships with fiance and friends, various life-duties, projects and of course wedding things are constantly filling my life and brain with appointments and work.

I feel like I should have some sort of poignant thing to say about that.  But the fact of the matter is, I’m very content having an aimed life.  I thrive in it. I am engaged and happy and I feel proud of my accomplishments.  Perhaps in the coming years my priorities will shift from myself to my family.  Right now my success is managed very explicitly with grades and schedules… school gives me a clear goal to work towards. I realize there will be a point in my life where success will not be as cut and dry.  I will need to re-define what success means, what happiness means.  I know I am gaining confidence in myself in this season, and I am proud to say I will be a woman who is capable of ‘getting things done’ and leading an aimed life.  But who knows… that can change.


Words of Wisdom

February 25, 2010

While texting with Joe tonight while racing to finish editing a video while fretting about random wedding thoughts Joe said to me, simply:

“Everything will get done and it will be beautiful”

It’s just one day.  People can always sleep in tents or stay at friend’s houses. We can dance and laugh and have fun together so long as we have each other.  In the end, these little worries will not matter.

I knew I was marrying this man for a good reason… he’s good for me.


Designer Profile: Custom Design for Your Wedding- Kari K Design

February 18, 2010

Here is a write-up from Madison graphic designer and photographer Kari K about her design process in creating all the print material for an upcoming wedding. Kari does a variety of work with print materials—from graphic design to beautiful and affordable handmade books. Her exploration of the world of print and paper is truly inspiring, and her fun, yet precise work reflects her dedication to her craft. Check out her work for this wedding, and hire her for yours!

kari k design ::: blog ::: twitter ::: facebook ::: flickr

Kate & Caleb 7

“In October 2009, Kate and Caleb approached me to shoot their engagement photos and design a customized wedding package for their March 2010 wedding. They wanted an invitation design with a “shabby chic vibe” that would let them incorporate multiple photos of them from their engagement photo shoot. Along with a custom-designed invitation and RSVP postcard, they also requested a wedding program, illustrations of significant stories leading up to their wedding, table cards, name cards, napkin cards, menu cards and signage for the reception. Their wedding in early March 2010 will feature eclectic vintage and antique decor, with brown, gray, peach, ivory, and metallics as the main colors, along with chartreuse accents. My main inspiration was derived from a piece of decorative sheet music from the 1920s.

Since the wedding package was to include so many different pieces, I wanted to be sure to create a distinctive personal emblem to reinforce the atmosphere of their wedding and add richness to even the most mundane signs—”bathroom is up the stairs, to the right.”

Kate & Caleb Invitation-Wax Seal Cover

The invitation was key in kicking off the event, so it got a lot of attention. Prominently featured on the cover of the invitation is their customized emblem stamped into a gold wax seal that contrasted with the smooth, chocolate brown paper. This booklet-style invitation allowed them room for the invitation, information for the guests, and two full-page photos from their shoot. The hand-binding added an extra personal touch. Their RSVP postcard featured another photo of them from their shoot and tucked neatly inside the envelope, along with the invitation. Not only do they have distinctive wedding invitations, their custom wax stamp is now theirs to use and enjoy for as long as they like.

Kate & Caleb RSVP Card Emblem

To save time and money on printed materials, they created a wedding website that gave the guests more information about the wedding party, maps and directions to the ceremony, and an option to RSVP without going to the post office or buying a stamp. This simplified the process for both the guests and those involved in coordinating the wedding. Also, because they had their entire wedding package designed and produced by the same designer, they ended up with an elegant, personalized, consistent look and saved them the hassle of going through multiple vendors for their printed materials.”

– Kari K

Kate & Caleb Illustration Snippets

See more photos on kari k design’s flickr photostream.


Taking time

February 13, 2010

I wrote Joe a letter tonight.  Taking time to really think about the person I’m committing my life to is so important. I’m not terribly sentimental, but words are powerful and I need to practice being more encouraging.  Writing letters is a good way to really think about what someone cares about, and to think about why you care about that person too.