Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Ceremony


Our Wedding Ceremony

Our wedding ceremony was a blending of the New and Old Testament with poetry.

We were looking  for a ceremony that was more personal. We asked our friend Tim to officiate. He gracefully obliged and registered with the state of California as a minister.

The ceremony was sweet, simple and meaningful. Our vows were non-traditional and spoke to who we are, how we view marriage and a forever commitment.

Our guest gathered around the ceremony cite underneath 100 year old oak trees in front of a reconstruction of the Newbury House, the home of first settlers in the Conejo Valley in the late 1800s. Guest took their seats on benches and got ready for our short ceremony.

Nate, Braemon's cousin, sat on the porch playing his guitar, old church hymns and other songs in his repertoire. Providing a little entertainment and music while guest waited.

I walked down the aisle to Here Comes the Sun. Before Nate flew out from Minneapolis he emailed me this little sampling of the song, which was extremely sweet and helped me get a sense of how everything was coming together.

Tim started the procession with Braemon following directly behind. Then Titus and Kira began their march with their "Here Comes the Bride Sign," playfully throwing rose petals and having fun as they lead the way. Right behind them was my father and me. It was a sweet moment that I am grateful we had the opportunity to share.

Once we were gathered on the porch Tim began:

"Good evening, dear friends. We are gathered here this evening to join in uniting together Braemon and Chelsy in marriage.   What greater thing for two persons than to be joined together, to strengthen each other, to rest on each other, to help each other in all need, to share all joy, and to be one with each other.

Braemon and Chelsy, today you are vowing to continue sharing life’s deepest and richest experiences. You are continuing through your life with the affection of each other, and also the companionship and blessing of mutual respect. You now enter into life’s most important relationship. It is a gift given to bring comfort when there is sorrow, peace when there is restlessness, laughter when there is unhappiness, and love when it is shared."

 Annie, my dear friend, gave the first reading from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments. Love is not love
which alters when it alteration finds,
or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! It is an ever-fixed mark.
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wandering bark,
whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle's compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."

Our next reading was by my sister, Jezra, from the Song of Solomon

 "My beloved speaks and says to me:
'Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtle dove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away.'

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it."

We then exchanged vows…I cried a bit, a little unexpected too. I was unprepared for the tears and found myself without any tissue, which made me laugh. I gained composure and recited our vows after Braemon.

I vow to help you love life,
To always hold you with tenderness and to have the patience that love demands,
To speak when words are needed and to share the silence when they are not,
And to live within the warmth of your heart and always call it home.
I vow to fiercely love you, in all your forms, now and forever.

I promise to never forget that this is a once in a lifetime love.
I vow to love you, and no matter what challenges might carry us apart,
We will always find a way back to each other.”

We exchanged rings, and then Bryan gave the final reading from First Corinthians.

Love is patient and kind;
love does not envy or boast;
it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice at wrongdoing,
but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.”

 Tim concluded the ceremony:

Braemon and Chelsy, today we celebrate sacred vows between you.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord strengthen your consent and fill you with his grace.
May the joy of this day remain with you always.
Braemon and Chelsy, by the act of exchanging vows and the giving and receiving of rings, you have solemnly promised to love, honor, comfort and cherish each other, so long as you both shall live.  Therefore, it is my honor and privilege to now pronounce you husband and wife.

 You may kiss your bride.”

We then walked back down the aisle while Nate played Would You Go with Me and whistled the tune.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wedding Crafts and Projects with Love

The Things We Made, Wedding Crafts and Projects with Love

It is difficult to know where to start this blog post. Each one of the craft projects was a labor of love and provided a custom detail. While most people do not notice all the details that go into a wedding, the big picture is important and each one of the details helps paint an overall picture that guest take away with them after all the food is eaten, cake is cut and toast are made.

Our big picture was a laid back rustic California summer wedding, with yellow and green as our theme colors. Though, it was hardly monochromatic. Guest wore fun colored sundresses and light suits (minus the jacket in most cases). To start the party off, guests were greeted with iced tea and lemonade, ivory Chinese paper parasols and fans that doubled as programs. The day then sauntered into the night on the grounds of the original Conejo Valley Stagecoach Inn built in 1876, preserved and curated by the Historical Society.  

Here are the details about some of the details; our craft projects that brought us around the kitchen table to chat and day dream about how fun our wedding was going to be.

Here Comes the Bride Sign ~ green and rustic with a knotted piece of wood carried by Kira and Titus down the aisle. The fabric was sewn to create a loop for the piece of wood to slide through, hemmed, with a custom flower pouch on the back for rose petals, with the letters cut and glued on the front of the banner. Made by Bruce and Sharon

Wedding Program Fans ~ on yellow and ivory card stock with a sweet green or yellow ribbon accent giving guest information about the ceremony and reception and doubling as a fan on a hot day. Using a template created in Word with text boxes we let people know everyone's name participating in the ceremony and fun things to do during the reception like take a tour of the museum or play a game of bocce ball. Made by Sharon and me.

Wedding Tree Guest Book ~ with yellow and green blended leaves made with a sweet potatoes stamp on French Conson Montval acrylic paper signed by our guest with notes of love, framed and then hung over our mantel. The tree and love birds were drawn and painted by my mom, Philleen. Then I added the leaves and final touches.

Dinner Menus ~ made on simple green card stock for guest to know what was in store for them. Similar to the wedding program fan, it is helpful to let guest know what to expect. These were created simply on Word with an inserted rectangle shape and a text box.

Bridal Hair Comb ~ since I didn't wear a veil, it was a nice touch to make my wedding look extra special. Sharon has fortunately had experience making veils and combs. She skillfully arranged some ivory flowers with yellow accents and green leaves to a simple clear 2 1/2 inch hair comb with a hot glue gun.

BC Cake Topper ~ in yellow and green and matching our B + C theme carried over from the invites and dinner menus. This was a real piece of cleaver art. Taking a green plastic margarita glass filled with plaster of Paris, with silk flowers sprouting out of the center then embellished with a BC heart and flowing ribbon. While this was originally intended to be a cake topper we wanted it displayed for more of the party than just before the pie was served, thus it ended up as decoration on the escort card table. Made by Bruce and Sharon


Love Blooms Party Favors ~ gift bags with a gladiola bulb and planting instructions painted with yellow and green adorned with a photo strip. White sandwich bags purchase on Amazon. Painted with green and yellow acrylic paint, then the words Love Blooms hand written in cursive over the painted strips. Then a photo strip I made from our engagement photos draped down the center of the bag clipped on with Cavallini Italian circular paper clip (also purchased on Amazon).  For this craft project the photos were taken by Jeanne, I made the photo strip, painted and written by Philleen and then assembled by Sharon.

Card Suitcase Acorn Sign ~ a green acorn sign spelling out the word CARDS letting guest know where to place their cards strung on braided twine across a simple vintage suitcase, decorated with silk flowers and yellow ribbon. Made by Sharon

    Photo Strip ~ Attached to our Love Blooms party favors, made from our engagement photos. The photos were simply cropped and assembled in a strip using Paint. I painted the sign quickly on a piece of drafting paper with watercolor paint. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wedding Flowers

My idea of flowers for the wedding was a couple flowers in a few mason jars and a simple bridal bouquet. I budgeted a mere $250. This budget was made knowing that according to the Wedding Wire the average bridal bouquet will run somewhere between $100 and $250. Also, I've watched a few of the ludicrous wedding shows on TLC as a guilty pleasure. Though, most of the time watching a wedding reality show feels like watching a train wreck, you feel guilty about looking, but can't look away - the disaster is so intriguing. So, I know that most brides will spend at least $1,000 on flowers, or at least that's what the magazines and everyone else will lead you to believe. The Knot even recommends spending about 8% of your wedding budget on flowers. So the $250 was a crazy low ball estimate, but flowers were not a top priority. Lucky for me though, I have some amazingly talented ladies close to me that made the mere $250 look more like $1,500.

For our simple $250 we filled 30 mason jars, 15 boutonnieres, entryway flowers, archway flowers, general décor and of course my amazing bridal bouquet.

 How It All Came Together

 I asked my sister and cousin to swing by the farmers market in the morning. We collected mason jars for a few months, mainly olives and a few marinara. With our concept of a rustic down home wedding I thought this would be well enough. I went to Michaels and had a basket full of ribbon, floral tape, boutonnière pins, and scissors ready to go.

The ladies went to the Calabasas Farmers Market bright and early and bought tons of greenery, flowers that won't wilt and everything sweet, yellow and green.

Link for the Calabasas Farmers Market:

Then in come my flower elves: my mom, Aunt Jean, Cousin Lily and sister Jezra. It is really amazing what they pulled off.

The Lovely Ladies Hard at Work

The assembly happened in the morning in the basement of the Stagecoach Inn where it was cool and air-conditioned with lots of work space.  

Aunt Jean showing one of the finished mason jars for the tables.

Lily and my mom putting their touches on my bouquet.
Annie and I were down for a moment pitching in...

And here is a small snapshot off all they did. Just a small sprinkling, it is hard to capture everything, but here is a taste:
A few of the boutonnieres:



The Table Flowers


The Archway


My Bouquet

The Flowers on Sunday Morning

Lily made a couple massive entry way flowers that I actually didn't see until the next morning. I came in the back way for the ceremony and during the wedding there was so much going on it was hard to take in all the details.

As a thank you, we made sure that the museum docents all received some flowers to take home.

And I even took a couple to enjoy.

You ladies blew it out of the water, and really made the details special, xoxoxo





Friday, September 20, 2013

Wedding DIY Photo Booth

Inspired by the photo booth at Chris and George's wedding several years ago in New Orleans, we wanted to add a little fun to the party.

We provided a polaroid camera, assorted props in a couple vintage suitcases, and a few instructions, then just sat back and watched our guest have fun. Now we have all these great pictures.

It started out pretty calm as most parties do. Here is my lovely stepmom Jeanne modeling a matching hat.

Still early, lovely feather mask
Kira sporting the Mardi Gas beads.
The kids had fun playing with all the props...
As the night rolled on more smiles and fun shots.

And finally Brae and I even took a moment to do a couple glamor shots: