Friday, July 10, 2009

My Hubby is Coming Home!

My husband (still so weird to say) is coming home today! He has been out of town for a couple of weeks and then is off to Chicago for 3 more. It is only for less than 48 hours but I am super excited!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Our favors are dying...

I really wanted to have favors that were alive - like fresh flowers or succulents. Fresh flowers weren't really in the budget but I found some great agave plants that I nurtured for months leading up to the wedding. I thought this was even better because I just happen to do research on prehistoric uses of agave in the North American Southwest. (If interested you can watch some of my work featured in a NPR Science Friday video here.)

Agaves bloom only once in their lives and then they die. But the bloom produces dozens of small baby agave plants that keep the generations alive so to speak. I really wanted to translate this idea and had a very romantic notion that our guests would give us back a baby agave once their favor bloomed and we would continually propagate our agaves like we would propagate our love.

Well this is sort of working out but I think the 100+ temps in Phoenix are doing a doozy on our little plants of love. Either that or our friends have black thumbs. I have gotten reports that many agave plants are no longer. I even planted about a half dozen outside our office building on campus where we first met - someday thinking that we would return to them as flourishing adults. But they are on their last legs as well.

Hopefully in 10-15 years we will have some survivors.... I hope this isn't an omen of some sort. Just kidding. It would be nice to be able to get some back, but it will be just as meaningful to reminisce about our wedding day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bridal Look

To recall here was my inspiration look. And this is what I pulled off:

I loved my dress from Dolly Couture (Seriously check her out if your looking for a short dress - where else can you get a semi-custom dress for < $600). I loved my pearls. And I loved my hair. I went back and forth about the bright fuchsia hair flower instead of something more subtle. In the end I am really happy with the pop of color.

I am not really a girly girl and would nearly go into panic attacks when I would think about all of the primping, plucking, and prodding that needs to be done to get a perfect bridal look. I did my own makeup based on a lesson I got from the ladies at Clinique. Definitely recommend getting a free lesson from a department store makeup counter and spend your money on makeup instead of an expensive application.

What to do next? Photo booth? Grand Entrance? or Reception details?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Our Wedding - Where to get the Goods

I have had a couple of questions lately about where to get some of the supplies I used for our wedding decor. I thought I would just go ahead and post the details so all could see.


The map included in our invitations was made by me. I used Adobe Illustrator and printed the file on cardstock at Kinkos.


The stamps I used on the Thank You notes and our Save the Dates is from the Martha Stewart line sold at Michael's Craft Store. It is called Wedding Cake. Isn't it delicious - I sort of want to lick the paper after using this one. Each design is a separate clear stamp that you put on a stamp block (sold separately) in whatever arrangement you want. Worked pretty well but the intricate design didn't always work with embossing powder like I did with the STDs.


The cupcake stands are from Martha Stewart's craft line sold at Walmart. Sense a trend of my design inspiration? I snazzed them up a bit with ribbon and papel picado stands like our theme.


I got the Mexican candy from a Mexican Party Store in Phoenix called Dulceria Pico Rico. I didn't actually buy any candy for the candy buffet on-line like many wedding advice sties recommend. I found the on-line stores sold only in ridiculous quantities and Sam's Club along with the Mexican party store had better prices (and no shipping costs). We weren't going for a monochromatic color scheme though and wanted to feature our favorite candies - not just those that would look good. If your looking for candies that you can't normally find in the store the on-line sellers would make more sense.

If interested in knowing any other details just let me know!

Thank you!

So I don't want to seem ungrateful but it seems like I have been writing thank you notes FOREVER! Somehow this part is not as much fun as making the STDs or Invitations. I think it is because I was using plain jane thank you cards I bought at the store.

DIY thank yous to the rescue to get me through the list! Yes, getting back to DIY will help energize me. I decided to use some left over paper and the stamp supplies I purchased for the STDs. Simple - but much more personal than store bought. Why is it that homemade things (even those that turn out less than perfect) are so much better than some mass produced crap from the store? Now I am having fun writing personal notes of thanks to all of our guests.

So these are my "compromise" DIY thank you notes. I had originally planed on making some cards out of these pictures from our reception with the DIY banner I made a few months before the wedding. But I didn't like most of the options.

Why were we always making out in nearly every picture? I guess it is because we are so in love....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Yum Cupcakes!!

We knew we wanted something different for our wedding cake. Traditional isn't really us. I know that cupcakes are becoming more and more traditional at weddings and are almost a fad that is likely soon to be replaced by another. But we decided that since we had never been to a wedding with cupcakes it was still different.

We choose to go with Sprinkles. They are amazing!! One drawback of not going with a smaller bakery is that we were limited to the flavor options available for that day - that still was a dozen or more so it was still hard to decide. We could also pick from several dozen special gum paste designs for the top. Of course we choose a saguaro cactus for 2 of the 5 dozen we selected.

I recently read on honey my heart that in LA there is a mobile Sprinkles van that you can rent. What a great after reception treat!!

Review: A+, as you can tell we had some guests that had a hard time choosing what kind.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Candy Buffet!!!

One of my favorite DIY projects was our candy buffet. Going with our Mexican theme we choose all sorts of treats from south of the border and a few of our favorite American sweats that came in our colors. There is a fabulous Mexican party store in Phoenix that had loads of Mexican candies to choose from including peanuts covered in chilies, caramels, chili lollipops, and coconut treats.

I dressed things up with ribbon, papel picado inspired signs and tissue paper bouquets. A banner saying Gracias and Thank You was hung over the table. We had small white paper bags and stickers with our monogram for guests to take home their treats. It was a real hit and I was surprised how little candy we had left over. It was kinda a disappointment because we had it sitting in our house for weeks - tempting us and were looking forward to digging in! Oh well, we did however have a few extra cupcakes to enjoy. I will share the cake cutting next.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How about some non kissy face pictures...

I was just noticing how many kissy face pictures I was posting. We did actually get some normal photos...

What do you think of our first family portrait?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Biggest Wedding Day Fear: Rain

My biggest wedding day fear was that it would rain or even be cloudy with the threat of rain. Luckily it was sunny and gorgeous for our outdoor ceremony in Sedona. Why would it rain in Phoenix a few days later. Really there was no reason for me to have anxiety. It rarely rains in April. That is actually why we choose April. But the forecast was not prediction clear conditions. A storm front was moving in Friday and not expected to clear until Sat night. Out reception night. The audacity of the weather to rain on our reception!!

I tried to deny it. I resisted buying a cute umbrella for pictures just in case. I didn't worry about a back up plan or fret about how 75 people could crowd under a little tent to avoid getting wet. Or worry about all of the tissue paper DIY projects would be ruined even if it sprinkled. I didn't worry until about 3:00 when the clouds still were not clear and the hour by hour predicted another downpour at 6. Then I began to freak!!

I would recommend to everyone to have a small ceremony and a reception a couple of days later. We were so relaxed the day of our reception. We slept in and lazily watched TV for most of the day. Until 3:00 when we started getting ready and I had my first Bridezilla moment of the whole process. (Matt would probably disagree and say that I was a Bridezilla throughout the whole process but I would not.) I really regret how I acted throughout the whole thing.

Once we got to the venue I was devastated. Very few of the tables and decorations were even set up because we were all waiting to see if it would continue to downpour. All of the flowers were dripping. A giant puddle was enlarging in front of the bar. The tents were hardly water proof. My hair was fast on it's way to becoming flat. The venue people asked me every 15 minutes if we should move the tables. (They did 3 times - back and forth between tents offering various levels of weather protection). The tissue paper bouquets were bleeding and the banners were hopeless.

The only person I openly freaked out on was Matt for which I deeply regret. In the end all worked out just fine and I feel really silly that I was so upset it was raining. At about 5:45 - right as the guests were arriving - the sun game out and a double rainbow appeared. People said only Melissa would plan to have a rainbow appear at her wedding. Well, I didn't exactly plan it. But it was gorgeous.

Some more advise: Don't freak out if it is raining. Buy a cute umbrella or galoshes. Take it all in. Rain or shine.

After all, it it didn't rain we wouldn't have a picture like this:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oops. Did I loose time again?

Seriously, it has been 1 month since my last blog post? Well I guess I did get in a bad car accident (I'm okay but did total the car a week before our road trip honeymoon :( but not to fear we got a new one). I am teaching a class and playing academic catch up. And I did need to finally clean the house after neglecting it for months. And there was the 2nd reception to do. But that can't explain my absence.

Maybe Post wedding depression?? Perhaps that is why I have been MIA. All the planning, the DIY, browsing through blogs for inspiration. Does it HAVE to be over already? Everyone talks about all of the buildup to the wedding - but no one talks about after the wedding. What am I to do for fun now?

Maybe getting back to wedding recaps will bring back my wedded bliss.

I am going to ride out this "Just Married" thing for at least a few more months.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

May I please have the rings?

When our officiant said these words I had no idea that just moments before my sister did not have the ring. Matt's dad was carrying my rings and my sister was in charge of Matt's ring for me. Apparently just moments before the rings were needed my sister had to run back to her purse and get the ring which was about 25 feet away causing my mom to nearly have a panic attack wondering what in the world was wrong.

One would think that with only 9 people in attendence at our little ceremony I would have noticed one of the guests running off. But my sister said I was to busy staring into Matt's eyes to notice anything.

We didn't notice a thing, only each other. The rings were there, we delivered our vows, and YEAH we were married!!! The vows we selected were a combination of several different traditional ceremonies. We selected words that would emphasize our equal partnership as best friends.

And of course we sealed it with a kiss. This photo isn't our first kiss but I got carried away in photoshop again and wanted to share.

Photos from David Sunfellow Photography.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Reception Photos are In!

So excited to get news from Sara at Brides for Brides Photography that our photos from our Fiesta reception are on their way! They turned out great and I wish I had more time to look at them. I have a busy week with school and work so hopefully will get back to regular posting soon.

Until then here is a little teaser from our reception:

Can't wait to share the results of the photo booth! Hilarious!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting Married in a Public Place

Matt and I had talked about getting married for nearly a year before the engagement happened. We agreed that Matt would ask me to marry him in a way that he wanted - however, whenever. The only thing that I asked is that it not be 1) in a very public place with dozens of people cheering when I said yes or 2) at the family holiday dinner table. Awkward...

He agreed that this is very cheesy and while it may be for some, not us. In the end he did ask me in a public park but there were no onlookers and it was very private. Why they would we want to get married in a public place? In fact the location we chose is Sedona's number one photographed location. Well because it is gorgeous, outside, and by a stream. Everything we wanted. Okay we also wanted to get married at an archaeological site but this may have been an overkill way to incorporate our personalities.

We chose to get married on a Thursday at sunset to hopefully avoid any crowds. We actually visited the spot a year before about a hour before our scheduled ceremony. The location was very quiet and peaceful. The only people included a family with a naked toddler swimming the in creek. We thought we would be fine if there was just a single family around but hope they all would be fully clothed. We were also working with a wedding coordinator, Weddings in Sedona. They said they couldn't reserve the spot we selected for our ceremony because it was a public place but they do talk to the other planners and make sure there are not to many ceremonies vying for the same spot.

Well, when we arrived to the location we discover how public our public place really was. Matt arrived first and I came with my parents a few minutes later with my parent's after we got ready at the hotel. One of the first things Matt said was that he had already seen 2 other brides and lots of people dressed up to go to a wedding. "What?" I had hoped they were not planning on our spot across the creek! I didn't car if there were people around enjoying the scenery, I really didn't want to get married a few yards from another bride and groom. Luckily we didn't see them until after our ceremony when they came to take pictures and we all let out a huge "yeah for marriage" yell.

But there were plenty of people enjoying their Sedona vacation. Many more than we thought would be around. As we walked to our ceremony spot we encountered all sorts of people and there must have been 20-30 additional onlookers during the ceremony. I didn't actually notice any of them at the time. I was so concentrated on Matt, not falling in the stream, and WE WERE GETTING MARRIED!!! It wasn't until the end of the ceremony when I realized all of the clapping was from more than just our 7 family members. We were taking pictures, they were taking pictures, everyone was watching and I am sure played in Japan when some tour group is showing video of their vacation.

Click to enlarge and read captions.

Was it ideal to have a bunch of strangers witness our ceremony? No, it was a little weird. But it was also sort of neat to see how happy everybody was for us. How intense some of the kids watched us and the foreigners smiled and nodded as we passed them on the trail. It is kinda cool to see how a wedding can make everyone so happy, even those people we had never even met.

Our photographer did a great job of setting up the photos so the people were in them or photoshoped some of them out. People were really courteous and we sort of felt bad because we were taking over all of the good photography spots and there were a couple of photographers waiting to take some senior portraits. They got in a huge fight over who got to go next even though they both were there before us. It is amazing how no one will bother you if it is a wedding. Once in a lifetime really means get out of their way.

Photos from David Sunfellow Photography.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Photoshop Fun

The best thing about getting digital copies from the photograph is that it gives me a good excuse to finally learn some neat tricks in Photoshop.

I saw this post on WeddingBee by Miss Gloss a few months back about Photoshop actions and knew I wanted to try them out. The actions are avialable for free download from The Pioneer Woman here and here.

It took me a little bit of searching on the internet to figure out how to load and run the actions into photoshop but for the most part they are really easy to use. When each action is run a dozen or so windows pop up where you can change the options. Since I am a "beginner" with this program and didn't really know what they were I just went with the defaults and waited to see what happened. As The Pioneer Woman states not all actions will look good with every type of photo but I think things turned out pretty well and I am excited to continue playing around.

Here are some examples of what I did. The original photo:

Soft and Faded





Friday, May 1, 2009

Ceremony: Walking Down the Aisle

As my brother often says, Matt and I are not necessarily a traditional couple. We knew that we wanted our wedding to be outside, the more isolated the better. Fearing our family would not be willing to take a several mile hike or an adventure jeep ride to get to the wedding we settled on a spot about 500 meters from the car but full of beautiful Sedona scenery. We mentioned the crossing of the creek after we eased them into the idea we were not getting married in a church...

Here are a few shots of us "walking down the aisle" to our ceremony spot. Watch out over the next few weeks. We got our photo CD and I am not afraid to use it...

All photos from David Sunfellow Photography.