I love how things work in Blog Land. Back when I was wedding planning and actually reading more than I was writing, I was reading through some comments on SMP and found one I thought was funny. I clicked on the name and it took me to the blog The Allison Wonderland. It’s not a wedding blog, or a style blog or a design blog. It’s just a woman, Susie, writing about her life and antics with her husband Chuck. And she’s fucking hysterical. The goofy shit she and her husband do together remind me a lot of me and The Candyman. I started to comment on her blog and we sent each other emails professing undying blog-affection for each other.
It’s been three years (WHA?) since all that and we still read each others’ blogs. Some of her IRL friends wander over here from time to time as well. One of them recently got married and sent me an email, inquiring abut a feature. Not long after I got that email (it was like, minutes), I got an email from Susie. I want to share what she wrote, mostly because it’s sweet and a really great post-wedding bridesmaid thing to do!
One of my best friends, Emy, got married in October. She and I have been together since we were 15 and 16 and skipped church together for the first time. It was love at first flee. Before she was engaged all she ever talked about was how she wanted to be an "unfake" wedding on your site. Then when she got engaged that's really all she talked about. She loves your blog and has read it ever since I put a link on my blog - how long ago was that? 2009?? :)
I have to try and make her wish come true. Her wedding was wonderful. It was simple, perfect - and perfectly Emy. The pictures tell the story so well (nothing like the classiness of a Bride doing pulls off a Patron bottle :) They did a sort of ski theme subtly (with lift ticket place cards and mountain table numbers). They had a photo booth - a Washington standard now and their favors were personalized Jones soda bottles.
The wedding was in Issaquah, Washington, at an old mansion the city owns. She was married in a tent under a sea of white, gray, and light blue lanterns. We bridesmaids wore gray with fabulous sparkle shoes; Emy's dress was simple and she went for the vintage veil. Maybe my favorite part of the wedding was that us bridesmaids are a really tight knit group of friends who have been clumped together for a decade plus. We've all lived together, been in each others' weddings, and love each other unconditionally. If I didn't at least send you a few of her pictures, I feel like I wouldn't be doing our friendship justice.
How could I NOT post this right?
Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Emy & Kevin!
The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?
Yes. And then we hit the after party in the hotel bar with our friends.
T30SB Commentary: You. Are. So. Young.
Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.
Photographer Amy Walton Photography
Reception Venue Tibbetts Creek Manor
Planner Day of Planner Susie Allison, my multi-tasking bridesmaid
Guest Hotel Hilton Garden Inn, Issaquah
Flowers Roxy Jobs, a family friend and florist.
Hair/Make-up Sorella Salon and Spa
Tuxedos/Suits Jensen/Kreitzer Clothing (Groom’s Family Business)
Catering Pyramid Catering
Photobooth 3-2-1 Foto
Who was your favorite vendor and why?
I could write every vendor down multiple times for this, but if I can only choose one I would have to say Sorella Salon and Spa. I felt so comfortable and confident on the day of the wedding knowing that my hair and make-up looked great, it was the confidence boost I was hoping for. Jacquelynn Woodward and her team also did the hair and make-up for my mom, mother-in-law, and bridesmaids.
Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?
Four out of five of my bridesmaids are married so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted, what I didn’t, who I liked, and who I didn’t.
How long did you take to plan your wedding?
How many guests did you invite versus how many came?
Invited 150, 135 came. (Yeah, tell me about it…)
What was your budget ?
I am so fortunate that my parents paid for a majority of the wedding, so out of respect and to prevent backlash from my frugal husband, I have to decline to answer. I can tell you it was more than a Hyundai but less than a Mercedes.
Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?
Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?
We were right in the middle! (Would that make it a Chevy?)
How large was your bridal party?
Five beautiful bridesmaids and five awesome groomsmen.
Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?
We created personalized Jones Soda bottles – on the label photo we are holding up the date of the wedding. We rented a photo booth, so I felt the take home pictures were also a favor.
Did you include any special family traditions?
No – I don’t think we were aware of any.
What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?
I thought the venue opened at 12pm and the high school brats working thought we didn’t get in until 1pm. I am a very punctual person by nature, so I jumped off the nice, calm bride cliff once I saw our caterers, florist and other vendors sitting and waiting. The jury is still out on who was correct. I started drinking tequila in the parking lot to handle it (or rather, not handle it).
T30SB Commentary: I have always said that champagne is the best “turn that frown upside-down” elixir. Or tequila. You know, whatever you’ve got on hand.
What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?
The guest list. I hear this all the time but I didn’t think it would be so hard. After our list was final and the small venue was picked we were asked to invite about 20 additional people from out of state who were “invite only and won’t come.” Well, they all came! It was a major stressor the last few weeks trying to figure out seating, etc. but it worked out. I could have said no, but I felt obligated. To be fair – I think it’s an honor that 135 people wanted to come to our party…
Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?
My new brother in law. The parking lot tequila made it up to the groom’s room and I think that’s all I need to say about that.
What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?
The photo booth. I’ve experienced these at other weddings and they are the most fun! Young and old, people love them! The photos are sweet, hilarious, and inappropriate - I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?
My mom asked us to take dance lessons, so six of us went together to private classes. I was expecting to get out on that floor like the next Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Kevin was so nervous and had a buzz, so all of that went out the window by the end of the 1st verse. Oops!
What did you love that was also the cheapest?
The wedding flowers. They were better than I ever expected. They are in the cheap category because I was able to buy at wholesale price and have a family friend put them together (totally cheating, I know).
T30SB Commentary: Hey, if you’ve got an “in” in the business who is willing to assist? Man, take advantage of the offer!
What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?
My brother – usually he’s a prankster but on this day he helped set up, he helped make beer runs when we ran out, he played maintenance guy and security guard, he stayed to clean up, and he never made fun of his baby sister. I can honestly say this day would not have happened without his help. Ladies, he’s single…
What was the funniest thing that happened?
My 91 year old grandpa was tearing up the dance floor ALL NIGHT. We are talking J Lo, Britney, Chris Brown, ACDC. He stole the show and I loved it.
What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?
The toasts. During my dad’s toast he thanked his parents for being there but gave a special mention to my mom’s parents and Kevin’s grandparents who were not. Kevin’s grandmother had fallen ill the weeks leading up to the wedding so it had been hard on his family. My dad is not a sensitive guy by any means, so this was unexpected and extra touching for everyone.
Did you DIY? What parts?
My BFF Susie and I put the table numbers and escort cards together (the cards were ski passes and the table numbers were named after Ski Resorts/Mountains- an ode to Kevin). The ceremony programs, menus, etc. were all DIY. I made the pennant banners and they were used in the soda bottle photo, our thank you cards, and strung around the venue.
And though it’s not DIY, we were able to work directly with Kevin’s parents to rent the tuxes/suits and some of the decorations. They own clothing/gift store in Oregon – we were so lucky to have their help!
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We went on a mini-moon to California, but we are travelling to the Bahamas this spring for a “bigger” trip.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?
The guest list issue was so irritating because the venue was tight on space. If done over again, I would think carefully about the lists, where the wedding would take place, and be firm on decisions.
Congratulations Emy & Kevin!