These are our invitations. My Sweets designed them himself. See our cat on them? We were going for an Art Deco-y theme, and the Conservatory where the event was held served as inspiration for the invites as well.
Here's a bit of how the Conservatory looked on the inside. We did an evening wedding in their greenhouse. At the time of the wedding, they were having a Dale Chihuly exibit, so in addition to all of the beautiful plants throughout the building, there were these huge, festive, Medusa-like glass sculptures hanging from the cieling, sprouting from the koi pond, or interspersed among the flora.
Here's the dress! It was beaded, ivory lace on top of champagne silk. I loved, loved, loved the low back! My father and brother played guitar and violin while people got seated; then our friends Angie and Jenny sang and played piano during the ceremony. The songs? "In My Life", by the Beatles; "At Last", by Etta James, and "This Will Be Our Year", by the Zombies.
As mentioned before, we had a Dudeist wedding, as Russell and I were initially joined by a common love of The Big Lebowski. The officiant became ordained a priest in the Dudeist faith, and wrote the most hilarious, Lebowski-referencing service ever. Russell's and my vows were also reference heavy. And yes, he is a good man, and thorough.
Here, a pic of my Sweets and his Dude of Honor, his brother.
And me, and my own little Bunny Lebowski. The flowers I was pretty particular about, and they turned out wonderful. There's foxtail fern, delphinium, hypericum berries, and ostrich feathers in them thar flowers.
I've even got blue tights and peach-colored shoes! Tights: We Love Colors. Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Michelle.
Our colors were peach, silver and navy blue. We did huge, ostrich feather centerpieces and the table numbers were all actually guestbooks that we made, each bound with silver ribbon. We made feather pens and put them in bud vases filled with rice on each table so folks could sign them. It looked awesome.
The favors we gave out were little sachets we made with pillow mints inside of them, along with ye standarde tube of bubbles from The Knot, housed in these funny "Pick Your Nose" cups from Perpetual Kid. As you can see, people had a lot of fun with them, and they were really inexpensive-- we got 110 favors for around $100.
One of my very favorite parts of the wedding was our tango! We took about 8 lessons to get it right. Russell really was not into taking lessons at first, but soon he really started enjoying himself and then became quite the perfectionist! In fact, he suggested that every Halloween (which will be our anniversary), we learn a new dance and perform it in costume at whichever party we happen to haunt. My father and brother played the music for our dance, which made it that much more special.
After the dance came cake-- lemon raspberry! I ordered it from my very favorite bakery in my hometown of Cincinnati, Bonbonerie. They are awesome, and totally accommodating. I designed this cake myself, using Photoshop and our invitations as a guide. I even bought the silver ribbon and had it mailed to them! The cake toppers are salt and pepper shakers that I found at an antique store a couple of weeks before the wedding; and they've since been re-purposed as commemorative Christmas ornaments.
How do you reconcile Halloween dress with wedding attire? Why, simply mandate "flamboyant formal" as the dress code on your invitations. I loved seeing what people came up with; if I had to do it again, I'd do a full-on, costumed blow-out. My friend Jenny (center photo, with me) made these amazing, crazy animal heads out of bedsheets, amongst other things. They were a huge hit.
And that's about it! The rest is history-- let me refer you here for honeymoon stories and pictures! If I had to do it over again, I'd a) keep it a little simpler. I didn't count on the people attending making most of the wonderful memories for me; I thought I'd have to manufacture them myself. But it just goes to show, that unless you're in an extreme case, people are coming because they like you and want to have a good time. B) I'd ask for more help. I was fiercely independent in the planning of this wedding, though I definitely have quite a few people to thank (literally, I still haven't sent thank-yous. Eeek!). But it definitely did get overwhelming at times, and it wasn't until I started talking to people that I learned that a friend of mine used to be a florist and has connections to wholesale flowers (after I already signed a contract with my florist).
Thanks a ton to all of you, dear readers, for offering me support and encouragement before, during and after! If you'd like to see more photos, feel free to peruse my Flickr set here. If you'd like any advice, or to know where to look for anything, I am more than happy to help! And yes, I have a heaping stack of Elegant Bride and Martha Stewart Weddings if you want those, too.