I’m going to wrap up the wedding trifecta of this week with a little walk down memory lane to my own nuptials! Mostly it’s an excuse for me to dust off the ol’ wedding album and remember what an amazing night it was. But, it is a fun contrast to the natural beauty of Meghan’s CO Wedding!
Mark deserves some press for his proposal which had a degree of difficulty similar to doing the Gangnam style dance with red wine in your wedding dress. He sent me on a scavenger hunt throughout New York City to all the places that held some significance to us: the first place we went for brunch, our local bar, first lunch date, etc. Sometimes this meant approaching a bar tender or manager, but sometimes it meant finding a clue duct taped to the sidewalk or something. The man can organize. (These are all the clues… down at the South Street Seaport.)
Obviously I said yes, so time for some wedding planning. After wandering the streets of Washington, DC… we saw many venues that would accommodate say, oh, 1000 people (think inaugural dinners…) and other places that would fit maybe 75 people (think office party). Our headcount was somewhere in the middle and we ultimately landed on Union Station. Yes, that Union Station… the train station. There’s a gorgeous room off of the main lobby that holds all the vending kiosks by day (name written on a grain of rice, anyone?), but by night it’s a different story.
The ceremony was at my childhood church right across the river in Virginia. I used to live around the corner and ride my big wheel for ice cream on the same bricks that felt our first steps as husband and wife, so that was a nice full circle moment for us. For my bridesmaids, I picked three different blues and let my girls choose whatever color and style they wanted… in hindsight I might have kept the colors more similar, but I still love the variety of it all.
Ceremony programs were just printed on regular old card stock and then tied together with ribbons in various shades of blue.
Although it feels like just yesterday, our wedding occurred before the holy grail that is Pinterest had been created, so my inspiration for projects and personal touches was gathered from magazines and internet trawling. I didn’t have a theme, per say, but I did want every decision to be personal and not just pretty.
These Save the Date cards referenced our first ‘real’ date at a NYC restaurant called The Mermaid Inn. With your check, they give you one of these old fashioned fortune fish, so I wanted to bring that into the mix.
With the Save the Date, I included this fun hand drawn map of the area… it’s not meant to replace Mapquest, but it’s a DIY way for people to get their bearings and see where the important events were.
The invitations were printed by a real stationary place, but I added a simple graphic stolen from a detail I noticed on a run through Central Park one day. I was also able to print this little floret on a sheet of label paper and cut it out into round stickers for further decoration.
Rather than table markers, we assigned people NYC restaurants. When I moved to New York back in 2003, I saved a business card from every restaurant I visited and made a note of the date and who I was with… By the time Mark and the wedding rolled around, the two of us had an enormous cork board covered with weekly date nights and fun meals. It was fun to choose our favorites to use for table markers. Escort cards were photocopies of the actual business card and then a larger image was at each table with an explanation of the significance. (Tartine, btw, was our first dinner together. But just, ya know, as friends.)
I liked the idea of handing out favors, but didn’t like the idea of spending a zillion dollars on something that would be left behind in the hotel room the next morning. One of my favorite things (that coincidentally is VERY simple to make) is a homemade fudge. Recipe below! I made a few squares of fudge for each person and wrapped them in a simple white box that I glued plain turquoise paper onto with a few simple love-related quotes. To add a little texture and some more personal significance I used old scrabble letters to accent the box tops. Pre-kids, Mark and I played a lot of very bad scrabble. A lot.
Mark and I actually went to the same high school. No, we weren’t dating even a little bit back then, but it makes for a wonderful shared history. One of the quirks of our school was a holiday sprung on the students at some point during the year… this holiday was always announced by sneaking in the special holiday prayer somehow. It only seemed fitting that we include this on our cocktail napkins.
I fell in love with this quote and used it for the tags that went on out-of-town-guest bags… I can’t remember what I put in their bags, but I suspect it was inventive things like Swedish fish, aspirin, Virginia peanuts and a water bottle. And maybe one of those party poppers… I love those things.
I never know who wants to be featured on a blog and who doesn’t so I’ll lay off the gratuitous shots from the reception. But I will say that looking back on all the little projects I did for the wedding, I still love the sentiment that went into each one. Again, the purpose is not to point out my thorough illiteracy with all things graphic on the computer, but rather to show you some fun ways to infuse a personal touch into various little areas of your wedding.
I had both of my grandmothers there to cheer me down the aisle and friends and family from all stages of my life: birth, school, teaching… that’s REALLY what a wedding is all about!
Oh, and as promised, here’s the Martin Fudge Recipe:
4 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup whole milk
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Add chocolate to milk and cook until blended. Add sugar and salt and stir until mixture boils. Cook without stirring until soft ball forms in cold water. Remove from heat and add vanilla and butter. Cool until lukewarm and pour into 9” pan to set.
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