Something Old . . .Something New in Review

It’s hard to believe, but a year ago today in sunny SoCal’s apple country I married the love of my life!

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As you may have seen in my update last weekend (see Transition reflection) we are spending a long weekend enjoying some great groupon getaway deals at Niagara Falls! (which I’m looking forward to sharing with all of you later).

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But for now I thought I’d  look back and share with you my something old. . . something new . .  list for our wedding. The list was posted on the back of our wedding program along with a thank you to friends and family. This tradition follows an old English rhyme dating back to Queen Victoria but has been adapted by many Americans as a “good luck” charm. Whether you are just curious, want to be reminded, or are considering what to do for your own wedding I hope you enjoy:

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Wedding bands on my pointer finger, opal ring on my ring finger, and handkerchief

Something Old: My great-grandmother’s wedding bands

The something old in tradition would be a handed down heirloom to signify the continuity of lasting marriages from past generations. My mother has both her mother’s and father’s mother’s original wedding bands. She will occasionally wear them for special events.  Both couples were married young in the South in times where wedding rings were only bands and far from as extravagant as they are today. They remind me of simpler times, as part of this tradition one day these rings will again be passed down to me and so on.

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Something New: Wedding Dress

As expected, the something new represents the optimism and bright future ahead for the bride in married life. As most bride’s do I named my wedding dress as my something new.  After all you only wear it once; might as well highlight it! For more about my wedding dress and how I came to decided on what style of wedding dress to wear (see The Dress).

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Something Borrowed: my great-grandmother’s handkerchief and lace from my mom’s bridal bouquet.

Originally, the something borrowed would be a small item from a happily married friend or relative. It is thought that this item would transfer luck or happiness to the newlyweds.  Instead of friends I stuck once again with family  because they were a large part of our wedding theme (for more details on this see Heritage and Sentimental wedding details ). My mom had been handed down a very thin old handkerchief from her mother’s mother to carry at her wedding and I carried it in mine. Growing up the bow from my mother’s bridal bouquet sat in a glass display case along with other precious items in my parent’s home. So it was a great honor to be able to use this same lace around my own wedding bouquet. Other examples of borrowed items: my new sister-in-law Stina (married this past August for more see: The Wedding) borrowed a hair clip of mine for their wedding and my brother borrowed my dad’s monogramed H brown handkerchief for his suit jacket pocket.

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Something Blue: My great-grandmother’s Opal ring

The color blue as mentioned in this rhyme represents purity, fidelity, and love. When my great-aunt passed away my mother was given her mother’s (my father’s mother’s mother) beautiful opal ring. Opal is my mother’s birth-stone. It also happens to be the birth-stone for October the month we were getting married. We found that to be an added bonus to the ring’s wonderful shade of blue.

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And . . . a sixpence in your shoe!

Not many people remember or keep this part of the rhyme. It remains mostly a British tradition because who here owns a sixpence anymore? It originally came from a Scottish variation where the groom would place one in his shoe for financial prosperity and security. Well my grandmother (who’s mother was part scottish) does have a sixpence! She wore this  sixpence in her shoe at her wedding in 1953 they are celebrating 60 years of marriage this fall! The sixpence  was given to two of my cousin’s for their wedding days and then given to me. I this summer was happy to carry on the tradition by pass it down once again to my sister-in-law Stina.

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My grandmother and Stina with the sixpence in her shoe

Who will the sixpence go to next? For right now I don’t know I have two younger unmarried cousins but they are young and no one’s rushing for them to get to the alter. 

Well hope you enjoyed looking back with me and that you are having a great weekend I know I am!

Pre-wedding: the last minute details

As I mentioned earlier this week there was a good sized gap between the Saturday of Stina’s Bridal Shower  and our Thursday Girls Day (and Night) Out.  As the future sister-in-law it was hard to be far away from family apart from the wedding planning of my only sibling. So I was ready and willing to help with those last minute wedding details during the week before the wedding.

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wedding week planning board

Monday I took a halfday-break and spent some quality time with a good college friend and her son. The outing included ferry rides, joining in some of her day errands, playing outside with her son and their dog, picking up some yogurt, then heading back on the afternoon ferry. By 3pm I was back running errands and doing wedding prep with the families.

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pedi relax time

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Tuesday’s highlight was getting some good TLC time just the Mom’s and daughters. We went out to get our nails done and some lunch. Stina got both a mani and pedi while catching up on pop culture info she’d been too busy with wedding planning to notice.

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hyped up on caffeine prepping flower girl baskets

In between Tuesday and Wednesday the family worked on a large variety of wedding details. Taking turns spending time together, eating meals, and drinking a ton of coffee. My family also ran back and forth from Joann’s and Micheals’ several times in those few days gathering ribbon, silk flowers, fabric, stationary, easels, and more.

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wrapping tea cups for the reception

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The garden prepped to be the ceremony space

We tied ribbons on the favor jars, created chalk signs for the reception and ceremony space. We helped with music selections, the boys prepped the yard and created lines for people to park in the field. My mom and I decorated the flower girl baskets . My dad helped in the yard and pack and organize resources for the reception.

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prepping chalkboard signs

I worked with other bridesmaids to fold napkins, ceremony programs, and prep table runners for the reception space. Whenever we finished one thing we started work on another asking what was next until we all decided to call it quits for the evening. During which whoever was available to help would gather to eat, talk, and relax.

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beautiful garden flowers in the front yard

Although it can sometimes feel stressful to have such a long list to accomplish it is great to know you have a back up team to help you get to that wedding day. It was amazing to see two families get to know each other, communicate, and learn to work around and with each other. It was a great opportunity for us to learn to be there for Matt and Stina and live (even if only for a week) as one family.

Matt and Stina know that they are truly blessed with great friends and strong families who are more than willing to pitch in to make what is important to them happen.

A Picture’s worth: Heritage and Sentimental Wedding Details

picture above our bed in our bedroom

picture above our bed in our bedroom

Luke and I love to plan and host events and at these events we feel it is important that people are comfortable being themselves. When planning our wedding, it was just as important that our friends and family felt welcomed, like they belonged, they were home. But how do you make a wedding venue feel like home? In the family heirlooms, the personal crafted gifts, or the framed pictures of significant moments. Here’s what we did:

Significant Pictures:

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picture sitting in built-in bookshelves in our living room

We all know a picture is worth a thousand words. Taking that to heart, we let several frames placed throughout our wedding space tell stories for us. Borrowing mismatched frames from family, we printed pictures highlighting significant moments while we were dating. Moments that display our interests, values, and the type of events that marked our relationship. Such as a picture of us on a morning kayak venture on Yellowstone Lake, or a snapshot from our MA graduation. Pictures as simple as these showed guests our love for being outdoors and time with our families or our how we shared in celebrating and encouraging each other’s personal goals and accomplishments.

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For those guests who didn’t know our story well (or knew only one of us) these pictures provided an opportunity to glimpse into our relationship and personalities. Our wedding venue had an outdoor fireplace with a natural stone mantel perfect for placing these snapshots where guests could notice them as they warmed up by the fire.

Family Heirlooms:

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Heirlooms are valued items or memories passed down from one generation to another. For us this is not confined to physical trinkets. I requested a framed picture from Luke’s parent’s wedding, collected one from my parents as well, then placed both on either side of an engagement photo of Luke and I on the guest book table.

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These pictures signified and celebrated a great heirloom passed down to us: strong marriages; a relational heritage we plan on continuing. To guests viewing this memories it was clear: Luke and I valued our wedding day as the celebration of two families permanently becoming one with our marriage.

Memory scraps and well wishes: the guest book

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I gave my maid of honor, a talented scrapbooker, creative license to make my guest book. She bought a picture album and filled it with engagement shoot snapshots. When I told Luke about this he came to me with an additional idea. Handing me an old hiking boot box (the contents of which he had been keeping a secret), he told me he thought it (whatever it was) might be helpful for the scrap/guestbook.  My mom and I were shocked when we opened it to find concert tickets, our school ID cards, amusement park passes, movie stubs, and metro passes  memorabilia present from our first date to the weekend we got engaged.

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So while the bridal party was doing their photo shoot, guests wandering the terrace took cards and pens from a mason jar and wrote personal well wishes to Luke and I, which later were fitted into the spare photo sleeve slots. As they wrote, guests flipped through pictures from our engagement shoot and saw glimpses into our dating life.

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Framing the Reception:

Since heritage and pictures were central to our wedding, we continued the framed theme throughout the reception space. This included the table numbers, favor dessert bar instructions, and the guest seating chart table, all displayed in an eclectic collection of vintage frames.

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Personal crafted gifts:

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In other blog posts I have highlighted my families personal talents such as: upholstery see sleep after marriage . . . ,  woodworking see happy father’s day,  and quilting see happy mother’s day . In addition to these hobbies my mother also avidly crochets.  So to highlight my mom’s work, like you would in your own home, we made crochet doily runners for the guest book table, the guest seating chart table, and welcome/gift/program table.

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The venue also provided us with a few comfy couches facing the dance floor. To personalize the space I asked my  mom to bring two of her homemade crocheted afghans to the wedding. She topped this off by making some neutral toned pillows. Between the pillows and blankets these couches were very popular lounging spots for guests to cuddle up on during the crisp fall night reception.

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Being surrounded by items familiar to me on such an important yet stressful day provided me with confidence and a peace reminding me I was surrounded by a great collection of family and friends who cared about me and about us as a couple.

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If you are wanting to make your wedding venue comfortable and welcoming think about your hobbies, talents, interests, values, personality, or interests. What physical objects or pictures could say better than words these concepts to your friends and family? These small items are usually not expensive and although they may require   digging up an old photo, visiting an old candy shop, antique store, or digging a box out of the attic they may help make your venue feel like home on your special day.

Wedding Season has Begun!

I choice to take a mini-spring-break from blogging because I haven’t felt much like writing about our real-life stuff right now. Were are in the middle of some car drama and I’m in the up’s and downs of job searching. (And yes I’ll share that all with you . . . eventually).

But let’s change topics shall we?

A week ago when I was in the middle of a hectic run-around I received a very anticipated phone call. So I pulled my Walmart grocery cart to a traffic free zone and answering my phone. It was my brother  sharing the good news that he and his girlfriend had just gotten engaged!  Everyone knew it would happen very soon and we are all thrilled.

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Pacific City OR

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Thinking about their wedding plans I began to look back on some of the details of my own wedding almost 6 months ago. I didn’t pintrest my way through my engagement or blog it out. But knowing at least 8 (probably closer to 10) couples who got engaged so far this year I thought: maybe I should take sometime to share advice and details from my wedding? Maybe it will spark some creativity for those planning their weddings?

As we head into this wedding season I’ll be dispersing some details and advice blogs from a bride who has been there done that. (I think 6 months is long enough to reflect back but not so long ago that I’ve forgotten the little things.)

So for all of my engaged couples-enjoy! And for my single friends these blogs may be good to ear-mark for that future special day down the road. Or if you are not one of those single “one day, day-dreamer” types remember you’ll probably be involved in a friend or family member’s wedding in the next 5 years. Even if you were at my wedding you may be surprised by some of the sentimental small details you probably didn’t know about.

Here are some topics to look forward to:

Who to choose for the bridal party?

Special Guests: how to care for kids, grandparents, and those with allergies

4 month engagement- a timeline and some big helps

Favors from friends :a great way to $ave

The Sentimental Personal details

No ring bearer? No problem

Things to double check with DJ/MC/Video/photographer

Advice for the Bride on her big day

Tips for Bridal Party including: when planning a bridal shower/ Bachelor(ette) party

Invitations, Thank you cards, and Gratuity

And that is not all! (Yes I went on a brainstorming craze). What do you think? And don’t worry tons of pics from my wedding and updates on the bro’s wedding plans will be shared along the way!

Wedding Season had Begun!