I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for the ‘our wedding’ Category

July 23, 2009

Our wedding

Is up on 100 Layer Cake. I almost forgot to post it over here!

It seems so far away now, it’s hard to remember all those little tidbits of wisdom I wanted to impart on future brides reading my blog. But I will try. I would have liked to hear people’s advice post-wedding while I was planning mine. So following the theme of the rehearsal dinner and rehearsal and cocktail party:

Post wedding notes

Only follow traditions that resonate with you.

There’s no sense in doing something at your wedding that doesn’t make sense to you as a person and a couple. I shan’t get in to what we did and didn’t do, but just try to remember that this is YOUR party, and you should do whatever you want.

Okay actually, I will say one thing because I can’t resist. A number of people were horrified (during the planning process) that I had decided to wear black shoes. *gasp* Brides don’t wear black!!! It’s bad luck! um. oookay. No. See, wearing a particular color has no bearing on weather or not your marriage will be successful. Use your noggin when making these sorts of decisions.

Ask someone to marry you who really knows you.

I realize that there are many people out there who aren’t comfortable with the idea that someone who does not hold a religious certification could marry them. Which, hey you know, whatever works for you. But even if you do decide to have a priest or a rabbi perform your ceremony, try to spend some time with that person so they know what kind of ceremony you want. We were at a close friend’s wedding recently and the priest said the bride’s name wrong. Doh!

We had Brock’s older brother Sky marry us (who is now a reverend in the Universal Life Church!) and it was just so amazing. He did SUCH a good job and everyone laughed and cried and it was a little longer than some ceremonies, but everyone said they enjoyed it so much. In fact a bunch of my parents’ friends who I don’t know that well said, you know before the wedding, we really didn’t know Brock and Kristina, but now (at the reception these discussions happened), we feel like we do. And it’s so great to be here celebrating with them.

Aww. We owe it all to Sky of course because he put together such a thoughtful ceremony. In the end, I have to say, the ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the day.

In fact, it was so perfectly meaningful to have Sky marry us that the 3 brothers have decided that each will marry another. Sky and Melanie are getting married in September and their younger brother Jordan is marrying Sky. And then when Jordan gets married (in like 10 years) Brock will marry him. Cuuuute.

So there’s that.


If at all possible avoid lugging all supplies, arrangements, 15 pumpkins, place cards, 90 pounds of flower frogs, favors, etc over to your venue at 11 pm the night before the wedding. We survived, but I had a moment of, OMG what are we doing? Let’s just not do this. But we did.

Consider taking your pictures before the ceremony.

I know this is a sensitive subject for so many people, but let me assure you that the magic isn’t lost when you have your “first look” alone, just the two of you (and your photogs, obvs), hours before the ceremony. It doesn’t make the moment any less special, it doesn’t take away form the butterflies before you walk down the aisle. It just means that

1) You get to have your moment together, without 200 people watching, where you can both cry and hug and kiss, and then spend the next few hours together taking pictures and enjoying your wedding day as a couple. Not holed up in your getting ready area. The day and night go by so fast, I’m so grateful for the time we had together that afternoon.

2) You are completely and totally relaxed before the wedding starts. I was just super excited for the ceremony to start by the time 5 o’clock rolled around. And then I got insanely nervous as my parents and I were walking out to the ceremony space. And I almost broke into huge sobs. But I made it. No blubbering until we read our vows. And then, just for a moment.

3) You don’t have to miss the cocktail party. Which in and of itself should be the deal sealer. Brock and I left the ceremony and went up to our hugely beautiful room above the pool. We shared a glass of champagne and watched the party for a while from our perch and then we got to go join in the fun.

Write your own vows

Which I’m aware, is easier said than done. I was totally stressed about it the week before the wedding, (Brock had finished his weeks before, sooo telling of our personalities), and nervous they weren’t going to be profound or thoughtful enough. But once I started writing them, they just came. And then I practiced reading them to Melanie the night before and morning of the wedding… like 30 times. I sobbed my way through them each time. BUT! The 31st time was the charm. I made it almost to the very end before the tears came.

Something about writing them forces you to connect to the event and to your partner and to what you intend your marriage to be in such a real way.

And I’m sure there are plenty of other things too, that’s probably enough advice giving for one post. What worked for me won’t necessarily work for you and that’s totally great and fine. In the end you just want to be sure that you’re celebrating your marriage the way you want to.

Okay. Have a good weekend all.

Photo by Michèle M. Waite

March 4, 2009

DIY local favors from my favorite date farm

Hi hi.

Finally posted our favors, a mini how-to, and a template to make your own labels on 100 Layer Cake today! Go see.

February 24, 2009

Our Wedding: a welcome cocktail party

Because everyone had to travel to our wedding, and we wanted to make sure we were able to actually spend time with our friends and fam during the weekend, we hosted a little cocktail party the night before the wedding. SOME of us may have had a few too many martinis the night before at the rehearsal dinner and ensuing late night party at Melvyn’s piano bar, so WE enjoyed the entire cocktail party sans cockatils. But everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves. Including most of my bridal party who left our house with large bottles of whiskey sticking out of their purses. Luckily they managed to recuperate in time to get ready for the wedding the next day. Such trusty friends.

We rented a great little house in Palm Springs for the week around the wedding which was excellent for hosting such things as cocktails parties. Ours was super casual… you know, kind of a make-your-own-drink house party situation. Plus we made some simple, never-fail party foods (homemade pickles, spiced nuts, a heaping cheese board, salted chocolate chip cookies, etc.) and pretty much just let the party run itself.

Post Wedding Notes:

If you’re going to drink too many martinis before your wedding (which is hard to avoid when all of your friends are in town and your wedding is in two days and you’re so excited), I can’t recommend enough doing so TWO nights before the wedding. Excellent plan, if I do say so myself. I was so happy nursing club soda Friday evening and waking up Saturday morning perfectly intact and ready for a big party.

And even though throwing a party the night before the wedding was a little stressful, I’m so glad we did. It made the weekend and our whole wedding celebration feel so much longer, because like everyone says, the actual day goes by really quickly. And renting a house so we had a place to relax and store all of our wedding supplies was one of the best decisions we made.

I would possibly NOT recommend lugging 3 cars full of wedding supplies (centerpieces, ceremony arrangements, favors, bathroom baskets, programs, escort cards, 40 lbs of lead flower frogs, etc) from your rental house to the hotel at 11pm the night before your wedding. However if you’re not going to hire a full time planner, I’m not sure how you get around that, right?

Next comes the actual wedding, promise.

All photos by Michéle M. Waite.

February 10, 2009

our wedding: the rehearsal

Keeping with my theme of showing parts of the wedding that no one ever posts, here’s our rehearsal!

I actually loved having a rehearsal. Up until that point the whole ceremony thing was a complete mystery to us. We’ve been to plenty of weddings and everything, and we loosely knew what the elements were going to be, but we weren’t exactly sure how it was all going to come together. Which is where our super cute coordinator Allison came in. Yay. Someone in charge.

I forgot my mandatory ribbon bouquet from my shower, so I had to user a glass of water. Which was actually perfect because it was like 98 degrees that afternoon. Also, I didn’t appreciate that you actually need the placeholder object for practical purposes, (like how am I going to hold both parents’ arms with something in my hand?), not just for decoration.

(coordinator + clipboard = relief)

(we love palm springs)

(Brock’s older brother Sky married us, which was completely amazing, but more on that later).

(I had both of my parents walk me down the aisle, which was really nice. I think I’m smiling so big because I’m trying not to start crying. In the rehearsal. Must save something for the wedding)

(again, listening to Allison the coordinator. Sooo glad someone was in charge).

Post Wedding Notes:

I felt so good after the rehearsal. Totally relaxed and ready for the real thing. And I can’t recommend having at least a “day of” coordinator enough, to help orchestrate all of the logistics because there are A LOT. And it was great to show up to the rehearsal, laugh with our friends, give out presents and not have to be in charge. By then I was REALLY tired of being in charge. Did I mention that already?

And I also learned that wearing bright colors makes pictures so much more fun! And I believe it was east side bride who posted about planning your outfits during the days leading up to the wedding with photographs in mind. Seriously, do it. You forget that the camera will be pointed at your all. the. time.

If anyone in the LA area is looking for a great coordinator, I’d be happy to pass on Allison’s contact info.

All images again by Michéle M. Waite.

February 6, 2009

our wedding: the rehearsal dinner

Kay, here we go with the real photos from the wedding. I think I’ve waited long enough, no?

Our wedding agenda went like this:

Thursday night – Rehearsal Dinner
Friday – the actual Rehearsal + Cocktail party

Saturday – The Big Party

Sunday – Brunch. (Seriously tired. Cannot believe we did brunch. omg, that was one thing too many. I could barely talk on Sunday.)

SO, anyway. We shall commence with the rehearsal dinner. Which was so fun. And no one ever posts pictures of the events leading up to their wedding, do they?

We were super lucky to have Michele with us all weekend, which means we are also double lucky to have beautiful pictures from the whole amazing party.

(Mandatory pre-dinner cockail hour for mingling and calming of the nerves with martinis)

(DIY jam placecards in action!)

(Aren’t Sky & Melanie cute? I love this picture)

Post wedding words:

Only allow yourself a finite amount of obsessing once you get your photos back. I keep looking at them and while I love love love them, I keep wishing I had done more to make it perfecterest. Which is so lame, I know. But I can’t help it. My rehearsal dinner table needed heaps of fresh dates and flowers down the center and pretty things hanging from the rafters and dark chairs and cuter tags on the jam jars. But this is all easy to want when the wedding madness is over and you don’t have 37 projects on your list at all times.

When you are in it, cut out as many projects as possible to ensure that you are not stressed in the days leading up to your wedding and allow you to spend time with the people who came to celebrate with you two. That is so much more important… well aware. Even though I can’t help making mental changes. To the event that has already happened. Someone cut me off from wedding blogs.

Dinner was at The Colony Palms, on the second floor balcony above the pool… for the curious.

All photos by Michele M. Waite.

January 12, 2009

our wedding: DIY succulent centerpieces

Kay, I’m just going to jump into the week here with a long wedding post. Ready?

These are easier than you think. I swear. But of course it means collecting a cohesive body of vessels, growing big pots of succulents for months before you’re ready to harvest, and then being willing to pretty much massacre them, PLUS go to the nursery to buy extras to fill in the spaces. But I think it’s kind of worth it!

Utter carnage on the back patio. Which was accentuated by my use of the huge coconut-hacking cleaver for the flower foam. You’ll notice that the big pots are nearly cut clean of plants. But the best part about succulents is they just grow back. So loyal, they are.

So here’s how you do it. Procure vessels. Buy flower foam. Soak flower foam in water. Cut pieces of foam to fit into vessels. Hack apart succulents. Arrange clippings into flower foam/vessels in pleasing manner. If necessary, fill space around the outside of the vase/pot with either little pebbles or spanish moss. VOILA!

Thanks to our super florist for both agreeing to share the centerpiece load with me AND giving me excellent pointers on putting these babies together.

My mom still has tons of these around her house in San Diego and they are totally happy 2 months later. She mixed them with poinsettias and cyclamens for Christmas-y spice and they looked great over the holidays. If you’re not attached to your vessels (or you don’t plan to resell most of them like I do) these would be excellent favors for your guests. I’ve got a few around our house too and they seem to be pretty happy, even the ones I actually planted in soil, in the pots with no drainage. (For these you need to start with a layer of pebbles below the soil so the roots don’t rot, FYI).

Allow me one eco-friendly soapbox moment… succulents you grow and arrange yourself make the earth soooo happy. Having hundreds of roses imported from Ecuador, not so much. And yes, we did have a lot of our flowers done (most excellently) by our florist, Hoot & Heart, but for the most part they try to source organic, in-season flowers so we feel okay about that.

Maybe I should do a little DIY tutorial on these… would that be useful to anyone out there?

January 6, 2009

DIY gocco thank yous

part of our rather luxurious stay-cation (after we returned home from mammoth) included serious craft time. Most importantly the thank yous. I want to write them, I do. And our present-givers/wedding-goers definitely deserve them, but it’s such an long slog to get through them all, trying to make each one personal and not totally robot-like.

At least we have them printed:

And to tell the truth, I’m getting sort of tired of our wedding designs. It’s much more fun to make something new and different, like our new years cards! which came out perty cute. I shall post those soon. It will be my reward for signing the last thank you.

(jenna’s calligs, of course)

January 5, 2009

our wedding: the ring bowl turned ornament

Confession: I had a ring bowl made. But we didn’t use it. It’s just that I love Paloma’s Nest too much to pass it up. We didn’t have a ring bearer or flower girl, instead Brock’s brother and best man carried the rings in his pocket. It seemed a little awkward to make a 29 year old guy carry a teeny ceramic ring bowl down the aisle, you know?

And from the beginning, I knew we’d mostly be using it as an ornament on our tree. My parents have an “our first christmas” ornament on their tree and I’ve always kind of liked the sentiment.

I had the Shakespheare quote that we used on our programs and in our ceremony stamped into our bowl. I like that it doesn’t say our names or our wedding date or any traditional wedding-y thing. Instead it’s just a pretty, handmade reminder of our wedding and our vows and the awesome time we had that night.

love love love Paloma’s Nest. And I promise this is the last Christmasy post.

December 12, 2008

my bridesmaids, in their own shade of green

while i’m on the subject of my maids, want to see how my mismatched posse came out?

YEEEEAH. They look good, no? I loved them in their varied shades and different dresses. So those photos I showed you earlier didn’t lie after all!

I saw Polka Dot Bride also did a post on this same thing a week or so ago and I cannot say enough how much happier your ladies will be if you let them pick something that looks good on them, that they feel comfy in, and maybe makes them feel just a little bit sexy. (It was a cocktail party after all.)

Now I’m aware this styling isn’t for everyone, but just think about it. Plus it’s less wasteful when you consider that they will actually wear these dresses again vs. stuffing them in the back of the closet for the next 20 years.

So if you hate the earth, GO AHEAD, make them all buy the same dress. But if you love it, you should consider this excellent option, is all I’m saying.

photos from michéle m. waite, obv.

December 10, 2008

gifts for my maids or anyone really

Being that I’m not sure where to start with the remaining DIY projects and the wedding itself, how about with something peripherally related to the wedding instead?

For my maids/matrons of honor (they were all equally weighted at our wedding) I wanted to give them something perty and useful and fun that in no way involved a heart-shaped engraved necklace charm. I apologize in advance to those who are into this sort of thing, but barf.

With 9, I also didn’t want to spend a ton per gift. I mean I love them all to pieces but, well you know how things add up as the wedding draweth nigh. I decided to give them each a sample of things I love, that I pretty much cannot live without and that frankly, they shouldn’t either.

1) A Baggu. I f-ing love these bags. They are super handy, hold a ton of groceries, and come with a little pouch that fits perfectly in your purse. I carry at least 2 with me at all times. And I don’t limit their use to groceries. They come out at home depot, jcrew, wherever. Yes, I’m the weird girl who uses her own bag when she buys clothes.

2) Hanky Pankys. OBVIOUSLY. I cannot live without these. They fit perfectly, they are comfortable under almost any clothes, they rarely show lines, they come in as many colors as Baggus, and they make you feel just a teeny bit sexy all the time. And they have a new organic cotton line, bonus!

3) Mistral soap. You can find Mistral everywhere but I love them because their first store and “headquarters” is on Cedros in Solana Beach (my home town, baby) and I’ve been a regular shop lurker from the beginning. And of course they make the most delicious smelling soaps and lotions.

So my girls got something that makes them smell nice, feel nice, and live nice… in rainbow colors. And I wrapped them all in mismatched, re-used shopping bags, (like the ones from boutiques and Kiehls and wine stores), because I’m obsessed with recycled wrapped supplies.