Entries in Wedding (5)


Celebrating Wedding Anniversaries

I have always loved celebrating milestones. Growing up my mom took birthdays, anniversaries and other milestones very seriously. Our birthday parties were always something to remember - from surprise parties to large gathering of friends. I can't remember when I was first aware of my parents wedding anniversary, but at some point I knew that this special day existed. These moments were filled with tokens of love from flowers and cards to jewelry and other gifts. I knew that these anniversaries were important moments and something to be treasured.

Mr. Ramon and I are celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary this year. From the beginning of our marriage I knew I wanted to find a neat way to celebrate our anniversary. I thought of the universal list of wedding anniversary gifts and knew that we could use that as the basis for any gift giving when our anniversaries rolled around. 

The history of giving certain gifts for certain milestones dates far back to medieval times when milestones of 25 and 50 years together were celebrated. The list became even more popular during the Victorian era when additional gifts for certain milestones were added. The gifts start off with modest materials like pottery and paper and over time the value of the gift material increases to the likes of silver and diamond. 

There are two versions of this anniversary gift list - the traditional list with items like paper, tin and fruit on it and a more updated list that replaces some of these items with modern gifts like clocks, appliances and desk sets. We settled on the tradional list for our anniversary gifts. 

For our first anniversry paper was the tradional gift on the list. We both suprised each other with art for this anniversary. I had been eyeing an amazing poster from this great design site - Super Rural for some time and it was perfect for my gift to Mr. Ramon. I framed it in a big white frame and we hung it over our first floor landing. 

When our second anniversary came around we both embraced the theme of cotton. Mr. Ramon chose a cotton canvas bag from Seattle company Filson. I was starting a new job around this time and it was a practical and beautiful gift. Mischa thought this bag was for her!

For Mr. Ramon I tried to find something reallly unique that would celebrate our special day. I found someone on Etsy that makes cotton knit infinity scarves with hand printed wording on them. I chose to have the lyrics of the song I walked down the isle to - Radiohead - All I Need printed on it. I was really excited about this gift and it looks awesome on Mr. Ramon.

This year the list prompted us for leather gifts. There were a lot of "normal" leather gift type items Icould have picked up for Mr. Ramon - wallets, watch, key fob etc. He has some really nice leather items already that do not need upgraded or replaced. So I opted for a ver nice pair of leather boots that he can wear often and get some gret use from. 

Mr. Ramon was a little more practical and I was super excited about my gift. He chose a pair of fancy leather LL Bean slippers. I have been wearing the same worn out, ratty slippers for several years. This gift is going to be great at keeping my toes warm in our cold house!

I look forward to many more anniversaries with Mr. Ramon and using this list to guide our gifts. Would love to have you share how you celebrate anniversaries and milestones.  


The Dress

I have been collecting pictures of wedding dresses since I was a little girl. It was fun to look back over them and see what I had imagined myself in. 

I was having quite a dilemma. The thought of wearing a white dress was so frightening. Heck, I don't even own white underwear. So how was I supposed to feel comfortable in something that reminds me of a huge white marshmallow? On the other hand, formal colored dresses felt very "prom" like to me. I wanted something elegant, colored and in my budget. 

Around the time Mr. Ramon and I were engaged we were in Portland shopping, eating and hanging out. We were on the hip Mississippi Ave. and went into a shop called Flutter. We were searching for wedding props - but I always peruse the vintage clothing. I was immediately drawn to a rack of amazing gowns. Now it is hard to explain what I was seeing - but dresses made of tulle, sequins and satin. All looking quite disheveled in a beautiful way. I knew instantly that this was the look I wanted. The big sign above the dresses said "Urchin Re.Design". I took note and knew I needed to find the person that made these and see if they could make me a dress. 

I could not let this leave my mind and upon returning to Seattle emailed Sonia Kasparian at Urchin to see if she could make me a dress. I was sure that this type of service would be out of my budget. After a few emails back and forth we decided to meet at her studio for a consultation. 

To start off I needed to know what style of dress would work best on my figure. I enlisted a bunch of my favorite ladies and my mom to head to David's Bridal to try on dresses for shape only. Exactly as I expected - the experience was really tough on me. Trying on huge white dresses in front of 100 mirrors was a bit scary. But I narrowed it down to empire waist and a fuller skirt. I had pictures and ideas to take to my first meeting with Sonia. The consultation with her was the beginning of what was to be 6 months of back and forth trips to Portland for custom fittings and great conversations. Not to mention she was able to make me my dream dress within my meager budget.

Sonia is unbelievably talented. She makes new dresses out of recycled dresses, tablecloths, vintage fabric etc. She hand dyes, hand embellishes and builds you a custom dress that is one of a kind. She has a house stuffed with fabric, leather, feathers, jewelry, beads and embellishments of all kinds. She also makes veils, headpieces, shrugs, jackets and on and on and on. She made me feel like the most beautiful version of me on my wedding day

Here is an example of her work - another bridal commission. 

Here are some pictures of my dress. Black was not my original intention. We talked about a lavender underskirt and a darker tulle. At our next few meetings the color changed and we moved to black as the top layers. She also found this exquisite French black lace with sequins that she hand sewed to the empire waist and on the bodice. I made quite a few trips as the entire top was fit directly to me. She also made me a shrug out of an old sweater and the same lace on the dress.

Let me tell you I felt like a princess during this process. I also loved that no one knew anything about my dress. I went alone on Mondays to my appointments. I even tried to keep Mr. Ramon in the dark about what I was doing. The night of our wedding I found out he really believed me that I was wearing white and when I came down the stairs in my dress he was in awe. 

Overall - hands down the most amazing experience ever. 

This year Vera Wang and a handful of other designers showed colored wedding dress collections. I think this is a really awesome trend and when done well is so beautiful. 


Kiel & Yvonne

I love a party. Birthday, valentines, fiesta, they are all awesome. But the party I love the most is the wedding. This magical time in a couples life - the beginning of a new chapter together. It is magical. So being able to help plan and coordinate this special day with the bride, groom and family is a real treat for me. 

Yvonne and I met about 5 years ago and I was immediately drawn to her. She makes everyone feel special when they are around her. She moved to Chicago to go to law school, then she graduated, passed the bar exam and is now a real deal lawyer. She met her beloved, Kiel in Seattle before moving and after managing a long distnace relationship he moved there to be with her. I don't know Kiel as well as Yvonne - but I do know he is a real deal hunk of a man in love with this beautiful girl. 

When they started planning their wedding I reached out to Yvonne to let her know I would love to help her in any way possible. Planning a wedding is hard but being in another state while planning your wedding is harder. I wanted to make sure her day went smoothly and was everything she wished it could be. 

The wedding ceremony was held in the Seattle Chinese Garden. They were the first couple to be married in the courtyard. It is a beautiful spot and if you are looking for an outdoor location this may be it. 

We repurposed some old cabinet doors to make signs for the wedding. Mr. Ramon was nice and offered his hand lettering skills for this project. They turned out really pretty. 

The reception was held at House of Hong in Seattle. A favorite location for parties and receptions. Me and my team hung over 150 paper decorations to transform the restaurant. Over 100 tissue pom poms on the ceiling over the dance floor and paper mobiles over the dessert buffet and bar. 

I set up the cookie bar with take away bags and hand stamped tags. The family had all pitched in and baked their favorite cookies. The sister of the groom had little cookie cookbooks printed as takeaways. The sister of the bride baked over 20 pies as well. 

At the reception they had a traditional Chinese lion dance at the reception. Something I have never seen - it was really awesome. 

It was a beautiful day made even more so with the bringing together of these two familes. 


Paper Wedding Decorations

I love a good party. I need no excuse to get people together, cook up some good food and decorate. For me the ultimate party is a wedding. Really, when else in your life are you going to have all those people in one place celebrating one of the biggest decisions in your life? Whether it is big or small it can be awesome. 

I have been really busy the last couple weeks as we count down to my friend Yvonne's wedding. She is amazing. Her fiance is amazing. Her wedding is going to be the same. I have the great honor of being her wedding coordinator and helping with the decorations. I will make sure everyone shows up in the right place with the right stuff at the right time. I will make sure everything looks great. It sounds so easy but believe me there are a million moving parts. 

For the reception we are looking at tissue pom poms hanging from the ceiling over the dance floor. I could wax poetic about paper decorations for days. I love them. I find them to be very nostalgic - circa 1950's prom or wedding. When done right they are fun and happy. They add texture and smiles to everyone's faces. 

You can find paper decorations on Luna Bazaar and Devra Party Corp> I also show how to make tissue balls here. I look forward to sharing pictures from the reception. 


The Big Day

Mr Ramon proposed in Paris in February and we tied the knot January 28, 2011. It was a whirlwind year of planning, fun, stress and learning about one another.

I am a planner - organized and armed with timelines, calendars and lists of things to check off. Mr Ramon is an artist - and way more fun to be around when planning an event. That said, he also likes to save as much as possible to the last minute. He is not really sure why my timelines are important. Of course these two ideals collided and left us a mess at times and more aware of what we are both really good at. And it took the both of us and a whole army of loving friends to pull this off.

I loved it - every minute, even the tough ones. From planning day one through the entire weekend wedding whirlwind. It left me knowing I love planning events and want to plan special days for and with others.

Here are a few pics from our big day - mostly of us. I love looking at them.

Our day was totally magical. We had an amazing photographer. A friend of ours that normally shoots rock bands and events. So he had a very different approach from a traditional wedding photographer. We really loved the results.

More to come - I will take my time and break it all down for you!