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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Unfake Weddings (12)

Monday
Jun042012

{Unfake Wedding Feature} January in Napa? Lovely.

Rachel and Dave are a wonderful couple who are from Santa Rosa, California. Their winter wedding (January 27, 2012) proves several things: in Northern California wine country, anything is possible!

The ceremony was quiet and intimate with only family members in attendance. The outdoor courtyard setting was so beautiful as they exchanged vows in front of a gentle, glowing fireplace.

A larger group of friends and extended family arrived later for a casual, fun, and laid back reception. Their decision to have their wedding on a Friday was  a smart move for the budget-conscious couple. I hope you'll see the love and creativity in their wedding!

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of

Dave & Rachel

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

Yes! And then my hubby fell asleep and I spent 20 minutes taking bobby pins out of my hair!

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer   T.J. Salsman Photography

DJ/Band  Canaan Sound & Light 

Reception Venue & Guest Hotel  Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel

Flowers  Groehe Florists

Dress  Brides n’ Maids,  Wtoo by Watters, Style - Zora

Hair/Make- Hair  Hair: Natalie Medeiros, Chop Shop,  Makeup – Flaunt Makeup Artistry

Tuxedos/Suits  Selix Formal Wear

Cake  Giorgi’s Cakes

Who was your favorite vendor and why?

Photographer TJ Salsman. He did an amazing job of capturing the ambiance of the evening. He worked with us on every possible detail and had an amazingly artistic eye. We told him we really wanted the unseen pictures that take place during the reception to be captured on film and he did so. Going through our pictures afterwards we were amazed to see moments he caught on film that we didn’t even know he was taking.

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

Not really, many of the vendors we chose were based on family and friend recommendations and/or previous experience as a guest at a wedding.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

5 months.

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How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited 112, 88 showed.

What was your budget?

We didn’t really set out with a strict budget, we just knew we didn’t want to spend a ton of money. We made sure we bargain shopped and compared prices amongst different vendors.

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

They were included in the overall scheme of the entire wedding planning.

Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

As I mentioned, we didn’t have an exact budget. Total, we spent under $15,000 for everything,rings and honeymoon included.

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How large was your bridal party?

We each had one attendant and a ring bearer

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

Yes, we had small black boxes with our names and wedding date embossed on them. For 100 boxes full of candy: less than $120.

Did you include any special family traditions?

No, but we did have a remembrance candle lit at the reception for our family members that were no longer with us.

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What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Didn’t have one! We woke up together, exchanged our wedding gifts with each other , I went to the grocery store for some last minute snacks to have in our room that night and then we started our pre-ceremony stuff such as hair and makeup.

What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Three days before the wedding my florist called me in a panic because the flower mart didn’t have enough of the colored calla lilies I wanted. I told her as long as they had enough of that color for my bouquet and the boutonniere then she could have free-will to pick whatever other color would match for the rest of the bouquets, boutonnieres and reception decorations. The calla lilies she picked to compliment the original color were amazing and in the end it looked even better than just having the one solid color.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?

I personally didn’t have any problems. But my soon to be sister-in-law missed her original flight and I know my husband was worried she wasn’t going to make it.

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What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

I didn’t waste any of my money!

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

See above answer!

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

My hair piece. I found a beautiful feather and rhinestone fascinator on Ebay for under $20.

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

That the venue opened up the bar early for our family free of charge since our ceremony went much quicker that we anticipated.

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What was the funniest thing that happened?

My 2 year old nephew who was the ring bearer serenaded us with a song after his mom (my sister) gave her matron of honor speech. That, and the fact that he stole the dance floor the entire night.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

Neither of us are criers, but the fact that our ceremony was just us and our families allowed it to be super intimate.

Did you DIY? What parts?

Some: I purchased all the vases and did the reception set up and my friend made a card box that mimicked our favors.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Cancun, Mexico.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Nothing! It went according to plan and guests are still telling us how much fun they had!

 

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Congratulations to Rachel & Dave!

Monday
May072012

{Unfake Wedding} Krystal & Aaron Are Modern in Minneapolis

Let’s just jump right in on this Unfake Wedding. No dilly-dallying this morning. We’ve got weddings to recap!

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

T30SB Commentary: It appears I’m getting the silent treatment….again.

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer  Lace Hanky

DJ/Band  Not satisfied with our vendor.

Reception Venue Spill the Wine

Guest Hotel  The Depot Renaissance Hotel

Flowers  Molly Robertson

Dress  Posh, Dress by  Lila Couture

Hair/Make-Up  Hair by  Nicollete Konecny, Make-Up by New Reflections Salon

Tuxedos/Suits Men’s Warehouse

Invitations/Stationary Stelie Designs

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?
Lace Hanky! Pictures were one of the most important things to us about the wedding. We
wanted lasting memories that were beautiful & captured the day. We felt so comfortable
& confident with Lacey, and we couldn’t be happier with the end result! he pictures by far
exceeded our expectations. She made it so easy on us, and we couldn’t have picked a better
team to capture this time in our lives. Their shots were amazing! Very talented team!

 

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

Many were either friends, or recommendations from friends. That made it really easy! Aside from that, we devoted the most time & focused earliest on the elements that were most important to us. We made a priority list at the start of planning, and this really helped us keep things into perspective along the way.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

About 8 months.

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How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited about 100 and had about 80 attend.

What was your budget ?

Between $10k-$50k.

T30SB Commentary: OK, I give brides the option to share their budget with readers…or not. It helps brides understand the cost of weddings and visualize what a certain wedding may or may not look like in the city where the get hitched. However, if I had the opportunity, I’d give this bride just a little shit for giving such a huge range. It’s like the difference between buying a 2009 Kia Optima and a 2011 Porche Boxter.

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Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

No.

Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

We went over a little, only by 5%

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How large was your bridal party?

Five bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen, 2 ushers and1 ring bearer.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?
We donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in memory of Aaron ( the groom’s) dad, in
lieu of favors.

Did you include any special family traditions?

When we wrote our ceremony program, we included elements from our parents’ ceremonies. In addition, one of our mom’s created garters, the ring bearer pillow and purse out of her old wedding dress and included some special touches to represent Aaron’s late father. We now have these pieces in our family and a new tradition to carry forward.

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What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

I had a huge blemish on my chin the day before the wedding. The day of, it looked horrible. My makeup artist did an amazing job, and our pictures look great, despite this. Instead of fretting
and pointing it out to everyone all day, I just focused on the day and all the other WAY more
important things going on.

What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Initially, we wanted to do a destination wedding, planned 6 months after our actual wedding. When we decided to move the date up 6 months and have a more traditional wedding here at home, I was floored by the number of things I needed to do and know…. immediately. Since I have watched many of my friends get married, and I am a little older, I had some pretty strong ideas already. This made it easier to jump right in. Instead of going to wedding fairs and looking at magazines to get ideas, I just went right to the sources and checked availability. The internet is wonderful!

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?
I honestly can not name one! Everyone was so great, and the day was so much fun!

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What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

My dress! I really wanted to save money on that and was totally prepared to find something simple and affordable. Once I tried it on, I loved the style and the way it looked. All logic and will power went out the door! I couldn’t really get it out of my mind and reluctantly gave in. But I love it!

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

The DJ. We were really dissatisfied.

T30SB Commentary: I feel you, sista,

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

My shoes and jewelry. I borrowed my shoes from a friend and found beautifully jewelry at local bridal shop that was going out of business. I got a smokin’ deal!

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What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

I had an idea of what the ceremony and reception would look like (all held at Spill the
Wine), but when we entered the venue and it was all set up, it just looked beautiful! I didn’t
expect to have that reaction to the venue set up. It was nice!

What was the funniest thing that happened?

One of our ushers was in charge of the music for our ceremony. He was supposed to play a specific song at the close of the ceremony, but had some difficulty with the iPod. A few awkward moments passed while we all stared at him. He finally got it, and we were able to head down the aisle.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

The beginning of the ceremony really seemed to choke everyone up. Unsure if it was the song (Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love”) or if it’s a usual reaction at wedding ceremonies, but there were several tears and sniffles. Of joy, I hope!

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Did you DIY? What parts?

A few things- We asked a friend to get ordained and marry us. The three of us (my friend, husband and I ) wrote the ceremony. We also purchased all of the decorations and created a photo guestbook. We made gift bags for our out of town guests with some of our homemade wine.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Kauai, Hawaii

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?
It was a great day! The only negative was the DJ. He was horrible.

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Congratulations to Krystal & Aaron!

Monday
Feb272012

{Unfake Wedding Feature!} A Michigan Lakeside Family Retreat!

Happy Monday, everybody. Did you make it through the Oscars? Did you understand Angelina Jolie’s ridiculous pose that she was immediately mocked for (LOVE)? Were you bummed for Clooney (I was) and happy for Meryl (I was)? Did you want to smack ABC for their crappy red carpet coverage (I did). Anyway…

Anyway, let’s start the week off by relaxing a little lakeside. I love the casual, laid back vibe of this Mecosta, Michigan wedding. I love how the bride gets comfy in the summer heat. I hope you love it too!

Welcome to the Wedding of Debbie & Shergo!

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

Did.

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer   S.C. Photography

DJ/Band   iPod and speakers, ceremony was two musicians found on Craig’s List.

Reception Venue   Family lake cottage in Mecosta, MI

Flowers   Purchase din bulk from Horrocks Market and arranged by the bride and wedding party/family members.

Dress   David’s Bridal, Style #VW9768

Hair   Natural Beauty Salon

Tuxedos/Suits   Macy’s

Catering   Father of the Groom!!

Cake   Mother of the Groom!!! (I hit the wedding Jackpot!)

Wedding officiate – Cami at A Wedding Minister for You.

Who was your favorite vendor and why?

My groom’s parents! It’s amazing that my new family wanted to play such a large part in the wedding.

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

I chose vendors that seemed relaxed and professional.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

Less than a year.

How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

I gave my in laws invitations to distribute so they didn’t have to come up with a guest list. I’m not sure on the amount of invites that went out but it was probably close to 150. Sixty-two guests came to the wedding.

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What was your budget?

My husband and I felt comfortable spending $5000. Our family graciously paid for much of it, but I’d say overall maybe $8K or $9K was spent.

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

Not the engagement ring, but the wedding bands and the honeymoon were.

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Were you over or under budget? By how much?

I have no idea…

How large was your bridal party?

Six. Two bridesmaids, two groomsmen and two flower girls.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they?

Small jars of candy, and flip flops.

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

The groom couldn’t find the groomsmen's’ pants. I told the groom where I last saw them, and if they were not there then the groomsmen could wear whatever they came in. The pants were found an hour later, in the place I last saw them.

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What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

I wouldn’t call it a crisis but learning to let others help with wedding plans. It was harder than I expected to let go of control.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?

The heat.

What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

The magnum bottle of Veuve Clicquot that my husband sabraged.

T30SB Commentary: I read this and was all What the hell is SABRAGED? Little did I know, it’s the act of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre. Look at the cool shit you learn in Unfake Wedding features!

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What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

Nothing!

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

The hammock and the porch swing. Already at location!

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What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

People on boats and jet ski’s DURING the wedding ceremony!

What was the funniest thing that happened?

My groom said that when our 2 year old flower girl Ella reached the end of the isle she emptied the remainder of her basket and loudly declared “All Done!!” And then on the way back up the isle she began picking the flowers up and putting them back in the basket. So Cute!!

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

Bride: Mother of the Bride toast: “When children find true love, parents find true happiness”. Groom: When he saw me.

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Did you DIY? What parts?

So much!! The invitations (the ink rubbed off on while in the mail!), wedding yard sign, flower bouquets and arrangements, wedding card box, music play list, wedding veil. The things we didn’t DIY I really tried to buy off Etsy as much as possible!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Sandals Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

I’d buy my daughter a better quality bracelet that my husband and I presented to her in the ceremony. The one I bought already broke!

Congratulations to Debbie & Shergo!

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Monday
Feb202012

{Unfake Wedding Feature} Emy & Kevin…and Susie?

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!

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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

DJ/Band   Wave Link Music, Inc. – Chris Klein

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.

Dress   La Belle Reve / Casablanca Style #1965

Hair/Make-up   Sorella Salon and Spa

Tuxedos/Suits   Jensen/Kreitzer Clothing (Groom’s Family Business)

Catering   Pyramid Catering

Cake   New Renaissance Cakes

Photobooth   3-2-1 Foto

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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?

Eight months.

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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?
No.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Congratulations Emy & Kevin!

Tuesday
Jan242012

{Unfake Wedding Feature} Sarah & Tony, Part II

Welcome to Part II of Tony and Sarah’s wonderful wedding. Make sure you catch up and read the Prequel and Part I if you’ve missed it. Let’s jump right into the ceremony and reception, OK? Oh, and the detail shots. LOVE me some detail shots!