I am a September bride who fell head over heels for my high school sweetheart and the wedding planning process! I just founded a letterpress business (The Aerialist Press) with the fiance after struggling to find beautiful invitations that fit my theme and were within my budget. I am getting married at a sweet winery in St. Helena, California and am having a formal, evening style event. Our theme is feathers and twigs and we are also trying to integrate vintage elements with the fusion of the romatic and the rustic. We are having an outdoor reception in the sunken courtyard surrounded by wildflowers, love and an aisle full of feathers! Oh, and plently of delicious V. Sattui wine to keep everyone hydrated, of course! I am a dreamer and lover of all things beautiful, but most especially my press, the boy, vibrant inks, a good latte, afternoons in Berkeley, sending mail and old books.
The boy and I got engaged on our 6 year anniversary (November 15, 2008). I knew it was coming since we had already chosen the ring together but I didn't know how or what he had in store for me! We started off by going to an early dinner in San Francisco, and I mean really early! We left the apartment in Berkeley at 4:30! I was so confused but went with it. We arrived at our destination around 5:00 and took some pictures, in the fading light. Sunset was about 30 minutes away- the reason he wanted to get dinner so early. The restaurant he took me to was the Cliff House overlooking the bay and the ruins of the Sutro Baths. Amazing view! The entire wall of the restaurant was glass and we had a lovely booth facing the water. He planned the whole thing so we could watch the sunset as we had appetizers! The food was amazing, I had steak and man I ate it all! I was too full for desert so we left and he took me to another mystery location! This time it was "our spot." We like to visit the really touristy lookout point on the other side of SF where the Golden Gate Bridge starts. We go there for dinner picnics alot and he loves to checkout the barges as they go by (he has such a weird thing for boats). It was the perfect night, I was wearing a pretty teeny dress and it was November! But for some reason we lucked out with a FULL moon AND lovely mid-70s degree weather. It felt like a beautiful summer night! Once we got up there we watched the boats go by and the lights of the city when he got down on one knee and presented me with the sweetest hand painted heart box! On the top he painted "Alex, will you marry me?" and inside was my amazing ring!!! I don't remember much at all of what he said because I was thrilled beyond belief and totally OUT OF MY MIND! But I'm pretty sure I said yes and a lot of kisses ensued! After he took me home where he had set up tons of candles and champagne and had some yummy ice cream! It was the perfect end to an amazing engagement...
Our color palette has become a bit more girly than I had originally intended but I love it nonetheless! The first color I knew I wanted was a deep purple/grape. This is our anchor and will be the color for the bridesmaids dresses, my bouquet, the ceremony pomanders and will be featured prominently in the reception centerpieces. It was inspired by the dress I wore the night we got engaged and I think it goes well with our winery venue. A little predictable maybe. I also chose a pale pink to accent it (Kiss). This will be the color of my hair flower for the reception, the bouquets for the bridemaids, and the ribbon used throughout the day. Velvet ribbon of course! It will also be included more subtly in the reception centerpieces. Pewter gray is the third color I decided on and I love it because it tones down the femininity a bit. The pewter elements of our day will be the ribbon tying the stem of my bouquet, the antique silver vessels for the reception tablecloths, centerpieces and the mercury glass candle holders and card vase for the reception. I love the vintage quality of mercury glass and the way it sparkles in candlelight. The last raspberry-esque color will only be used in our reception centerpieces to spice it up a bit so the look isn't so muted. I think it will make it so much more vibrant...check out our floral page to see what I mean! My FI made the little color swatch ink smears for me- we use them on our letterpress website to display the color options we offer. He is so crafty!
This is the inspiration board I made for our wedding! It is all about the feathers, mercury glass, twigs, ribbons, ruffles, vintage silver and love!
I didn't think I cared much about the flowers for the wedding until I really started to look at possibilities. Then it was as if my head exploded with ideas and I fell in love with ranunculuses (so sad we can't use them-wrong season), sweet peas, and deep purple dahlias. Not to mention twigs! I want twigs arching over my bouquet and peeking out in all of the centerpieces. Here are some inspiration pics:
My bouquet: This is exactly the feel I want my bouquet to have. These are just the right flowers, minus the out of season peonies, just imagine deep purples instead of pinks and twigs halo-ing over the whole thing. I just love the little flowers popping from the inside. It is so wild and lush. Completely romantic.
Bridesmaids bouquets: I love the color of this bouquet and the softness it has. The BMs will be carrying one just like this, minus the green and with dahlias insread of peonies and roses. Like mine it will also
have a few twigs and some tiny feathers tucked in.
Centerpieces: It is this photo that brought on my latent love for flowers. I saw it and I was a goner. I love the colors, the big dahlias, little sweet peas and Price Edward roses. Our centerpieces will be about this size and look very similar, except the red and pink tones will be more raspberry and the deep purple will be more pronounced. We will also nix the fall leaves and greenery and add in more twigs and perhaps a few soft feathers. All the centerpiece arrangements will be in vintage silver pitchers, vases and teapots my family has collected over the years (parents love antiques).
Ceremony Pomanders: We will be having purple pomanders hanging from Shepherd's hooks down the aisle for the ceremony. We will most likely alternate them every other row. They will hang from pale pink velvet ribbon.
I looove coordinating an outfit so the accessories were some of the first things I started thinking of. I don't have my ears pierced (gasp! I know, how is it possible!) and I decided not to for the wedding...it just isn't me...soooooo I found a fantastic necklace and hair flower to compensate! Plus my shoes are fantabulous! Here are the pics:
Hair Flower: I plan to wear it all day! Under my veil for the ceremony and on through the reception :) I found it on Etsy from seller KateHouse who is super sweet and talented!
Necklace: I had originally found a super pretty flowery wrap around necklace from Anthropologie to wear for the wedding. The DAY BEFORE I fell in love with this teeny little bow and knew it was the right thing to wear. I liked how subtle it was and that it tied in with all the bow details in the rest of the wedding. It also looked perfect with my shoes! Thank you Nordstrom!
Shoes: I LOVE these bad boys. They were a splurge but I haven't once regretted them! I love the pink and black stripes inside and the bling on the toe area. Can't wait to finally wear them!
So I finally found and purchased the PERFECT garter! I am not such a fan of lace so it was a little tricky finding something I loved that was unique and sexy feeling. I found this one and it had ALL my colors, was vintagey and had feathers! Perfect match- thank you Etsy!
My FI and his men are such rascly, mischevious and outdoorsy type boys I just knew that flower bouts wouldn't fit them. I think floral bouts can be really gorgeous and even masculine, but it wasn't them and I wanted some way to incorporate feathers...so I got on Etsy! And I found the most fabulous designer for these things and she agreed to make me some custom ones! I LOVE her! The groomsmen's bouts match my FI's (pictured below) except that his has little purple guinea feathers added in. I love the spiky arch. Its sorta badass amidst all that fluffy featheriness! I think they will really pop against the black tuxes and complement the purple ties to perfection. Plus the FI loves them so that's a win ;)
We got our engagement photos back from Il Mare Photography and I LOVE them! They are AMAZING! I totally felt like myself throughout the whole shoot anf they gave us enough direction that we felt like we looked good. We actually won the shoot and 10 hours of wedding photography through a giveaway they had and I couldn't feel more lucky. Their style is just artsy/edgy/chic enough for us! LOVE!
So it took me ages to find the dress, well just four dress shops but with the entourage I had with me (three moms, my MOH, 3 BMs) it was a lil stressful! I loved having all their support but man, they all had a lot of opinions! Here are some of the dresses I considered. Excuse my awkwardness in these photos!
Can you see a trend here? Not so much a fan of the lace :) Or much beading. The dress I ended up getting doesn't have lace OR beading on it surprise surprise but I love her. Can't post her since she won't come in until July, oh the suspense! I don't know if I can wait that long!
After many many rejects I finally found the dress of my dreams. She totally wasn't what I was expecting. Ruffles galore! But she is sweet, romantic and whimsical. Totally me. I especially love the little ivory bow under the bust- not super out there but enough to feel special. These are the pics from my first fitting!
For the bustle she did a French one but it is imposssible to tell, the ruffles just all blend together. I feel like a total bride in it and cannot wait to put her on again...she is PERFECT for twirling. Yes, I twirled in it! Maximum dorkiness :)
So my lovely little FI likes three VERY different styles of tuxes and cannot make up his mind about what he would like to wear on W-day. I love them all but am leaning toward the grey, it so goes with the pewter in our color palette and I think he would look super dashing and debonair in it. But I also really love the morning coat/ascot combo. We have to decide soon too because we are just about 4 months out! Yikes!
Here are the three contenders:
We decided we wanted to get married somewhere simultaneously rustic and romantic and the first area we thought of was Napa. Lucky for us we only live about an hour away so it isn't really a destination wedding. Yay no air travel!
When we began looking for the most beautiful place to have it things got a little tricky. Many wineries in Napa proper don't allow weddings due to city ordinances. Fortunately there are some beutiful places in surrounding towns that are still part of the Napa Valley. When I saw V. Sattui Winery I fell in LOVE, it gave me the same feeling as my engagement ring when I first saw it and that I had with my dress a few months later. It was completely RIGHT! So we booked the last weekend in September and never looked back. there are several places on the property to have the ceremony but we chose the sunken stone courtyard. It is spectacular! It is right next to the main winery building which is about two stories. I will enter by walking around the balcony above the courtyard and then down the stone steps for a super dramatic entrance- LOVED this part! It will be beautiful in September and since it is crush season the smell of wine will permeate everything. I am terribly excited!
We will stand between the two barrels during the ceremony.
The courtyard holds about 175 people seated. This is the view from the steps I will be walking down. You can sort of see the balcony I will walk along at the top.
These are the stairs I will walk down with my Dad :)
The reception will be in the adjoining Barrel Room which holds tons and tons of wine barrels in an aged looking stone space. It is romantically lit and the winery staff put votive candles along all the walls and barrels to make it sparkle. There are also little caves off the main room where we will set up a wii for the kids and some tables for the girls (all between the ages of 7 and 11). We want them to feel special and weddings can be so boring for them snadwiched between their parents! There is also a separate room with a bar for the wine to be served during the dancing part of the reception. I will post some photos of this room soon!
Since our wedding venue is a vineyard in Napa we thought coasters were the way to go for favors. We wanted to DIY them since we can letterpress and they just seemed right. We did four coasters per pack and tied each set with a pretty pink bow to coordinate with our colors. My Dad was awesome and corner-rounded all of them for us- such a trooper! We used a twig design layed out in a circle and then put a quote I found about wine and love in the middle: "Where there is no wine, there is no love." They were just a cute thank you for coming to Napa, drinking yummy wine, celebrating with us and dancing all night long!
We letterpressed just about anything you could possibly imagine for this wedding. We letterpressed the frickin bejeezus out of it! And we LOVED it. We tried to carry our feathers and twigs theme subtly throughout all of the paer products. For the programs and menus we used our accent colors of pale pink and pewter since there is so much purple in the rest of the wedding. I love that they are soft, romantic and a teeny bit rustic- so our style!