Halloween is just around the corner! My mom made all of my Halloween costumes when I was a kid, and she’s generously offered (okay, I may have badgered her a little) to make Caroline’s first Halloween costume. You’d think we would have figured this out already, but we’re still trying to decide what to dress her as. Also, I’m not exactly sure where you’re supposed to take a 5 month old on Halloween…
Says the bride, “For the ceremony, we both wanted something intimate and beautiful that wouldn’t be affected by any changes in the weather. There is something so classic and sweet about getting married in a chapel. The chapel is also located on the campus of the my Alma Mater. The grounds at the University of Denver are always immaculate and I knew it would be ideal for picture taking.”
“It’s difficult to tell but Nick’s suit is navy blue and my dress is champagne (as opposed to the typical black tux, white dress). I wanted a timeless look for my wedding, one which will always look classic when I look back at pictures, regardless of the change in trends.”
“For the reception, we loved the combination of classic and modern elements at Palazzo Verdi. The labyrinth on the floor is an exact replica of the labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral which I saw when I studied abroad in France. Nick and I are both artistic and we loved the attached art gallery as well as the floor-to-ceiling painting by Todd Siler which is his own interpretation of poet William Blake’s work. Opposite the painting are floor-to-ceiling windows which lit up the room and made all of our photos appear heavenly.”
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR MORE FROM THIS ELEGANT BLACK AND WHITE WEDDING.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? My favorite moment was walking into the chapel and seeing Nick’s face because I had surprised him by having the guitarist play a special song when I walked down the aisle. He was holding back tears. It was perfect.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We actually omitted a few traditions such as the garter and bouquet toss – it just didn’t fit with our dynamic. We did, however, create our own tradition by having both sets of parents give a blessing on us during the ceremony. It was very meaningful to each of us.
What advice do you have for other brides? If you work full-time and/or have kids, make room in your budget for a wedding planner. If you don’t, you will wish you had! I was busier than I would have liked to be on my wedding weekend. The bride should not be frazzled the day before the wedding!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Create an outline, highlight priorities and budget around those things. The rest will fit in as needed. In hindsight, I would have budgeted more for a wedding planner and less for other elements.
Says the bride: “I grew up in the Chicago area and I have good memories of coming to the Zoo when I was younger. Weddings have become so commercialized and we liked the idea of giving our business to a not-for-profit venue that does so much good for the community. The Zoo’s outdoor spaces are beautiful and we had cocktail hour in the Bear Wilderness exhibit, so we knew our guests would have a good time. The Zoo does so many weddings and provides a wedding planner, which freed us from worrying about the details of the day.”
I love this shot of the bride looking at the bear exhibit during the cocktail hour! So fun!
What inspired Jessica and Theo when they were planning? “We tried to think about weddings we have attended over the years and what we liked most about them. What we remembered most are touching moments during ceremonies or slideshows that made us weepy, rather than favors or decorations. Also, we are clearly dancing fools, so we drew inspiration from the best wedding dance parties we have been lucky enough to attend when we chose the space for the dance floor and our playlist.”
SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR ALL THE FUN DETAILS FROM THIS ZOO WEDDING.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Although we initially wanted the first time we saw each other to be when I came down the aisle, we decided to do a first look before the ceremony so that we could relax and enjoy our reception with our guests. The first look was in a secluded part of the Zoo beside a lake and turned out to be the favorite moment of the day for both of us. We both felt calmer and it didn’t take away from the ceremony at all.
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? We kept our ceremony fairly traditional to balance out our non-traditional venue. Theo’s father officiated.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Hold hands as much as possible – I wish we had done this more! If you hold hands you won’t get separated, since everyone wants to talk to you and take pictures.
What advice do you have for other brides? Don’t forget what the day is about. Everyone will have an opinion and it will be impossible to make everyone happy. When I ran out of time to do programs and a few other details, I felt strangely liberated! Just because you’ve seen something at every other wedding does not mean that doing it will really make the day more special. Spend time appreciating the help and love you receive from family and friends, rather than focusing on the stress that these same people can sometimes cause.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? Decide what is important to you and where you are willing to cut costs early on. Many of the details that you could spend lots on will not be remembered by you or your guests after the day is over. Photography was very important to me, so I was willing to spend more to get the best photographer. Music was really important to Theo, so we hired a string quartet for the ceremony. However, just because a particular vendor is expensive does not mean that they are the best for you. We were still completely happy with many of the vendors we chose that were less expensive than the other options.
When one of my good friends had her bachelorette party in her home town of Chicago, a $600 plane ticket was just not feasible for my budget. Instead I made a mini “Bachelorette Party In A Box,” hoping to contribute to the festivities even though I couldn’t be there in person.
DIY Bachelorette Party in a Box | Snippet & Ink
I love the idea of a Glitter themed Bachelorette party – just imagine all your ladies dressed to the nines in sparkly dresses, using the fun props found in this box for an impromptu photo session. (Or you could go all out and surprise the bride by arranging for a professional photographer to do a mini-session with her bridal party in all their sparkly glory!)
For a fun game, Sparkles + Secrets is a sparkly take on Truth or Dare. Print out some cards filled with fun ways to draw a little attention to the group when you’re out on the town. Since you make them yourself, you can control how wild they get based on the temperament of the bride and her ladies. Dares (“Sparkles”) like Arm Wrestle A Sexy Stranger, or Unexpected Photo-Op, are fairly harmless yet fun. Or if you opt for a Secret, tell the group something about yourself that they don’t know – big or small, it’ll be a bonding experience, especially if your bridesmaids don’t know each other.
If you’re thinking about putting together a Bachelorette Party In A Box for someone you know, consider these general tips:
Consider Color: No one says you have to use hot pink. Think about your bride, the location and any theme you might already have decided on. Less is more, I promise: Coco Chanel famously said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” I think this is great advice for almost anything. Clean, simple lines and shapes almost always work better for boxes like these, as opposed to an overdose of bows or other wrapping. Make it Work: The items in your box should try to work off the same theme. Although it’s a perfectly nice little gift, it wouldn’t have made much sense to include a silver sleep mask in the box above. It would make sense, however, in a spa-inspired box. A little thought goes a long way!
Today, Margaux from Harmony Creative Studio is sharing three fun DIY projects with us to help make your wedding celebrations even more special with some fun gift boxes…
Sometimes distance keeps loved ones from attending the events surrounding your wedding, such as the engagement party or bridal shower. My husband and I met live across the country from his family, and the women of his close-knit extended family were super sweet and threw me a “Mail-Away” shower, where they purchased gifts from our registry and coordinated them to arrive at my house on a certain date. I felt so honored that they had gone to the trouble to welcome me to the family from afar, and it inspired this DIY – a book themed “Mail-Away” shower.
The idea is simple: everyone contributes a book that the bride can put to use during the first year of her new marriage. I asked friends to contribute to this DIY to see the range of books that might be included, and in addition to the usual cookbooks and bestsellers on relationship advice, there were books on Pilates, stress relief, monetary concerns, and an inspirational children’s classic. The books are mailed to the host of the shower (or the Maid of Honor, or other designated person), and then presented together to the bride at the shower. With Amazon and other e-retailers, this is just as easy as purchasing and mailing from an online registry.
We decided to use a crate – perfect to support the weight of the books!
One way to add continuity to the books without totally wrapping each one is to add a belly band. Any scrapbook paper will work – we used strips out of a super pretty piece of Belle and Union gift wrap, then wrapped colorful yarn around them. We finished off the crate with w simple tag printed with For Your 1st Year, tied on with the same yarn.