The Stationery!

The Stationery!

December 20, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  1 Comment

We definitely put the cart before the horse when we began designing our invitations. The first thing I knew I wanted was to incorporate custom book page envelope liners. We actually created all 150 of them before I even decided on an invitation concept.

So now we had blue envelopes, black and cream print liners. It definitely helped to reign in a million and one ideas being so limited in what would work with it. As I mentioned the other day, I loved the banner on the Barq’s rootbeer banner and wanted to incorporate that design element somewhere. While working on the crest, the stars aligned and the font I had chosen created a design I loved  when the M of my last name and W from his were meshed together!

When I was studying journalism, a major principle we learned in designing front pages was to never repeat the same format two days in a row. People could easily pass up a newstand when it looks like the same paper. I’ve carried that principle over into my collection of invitations. My goals for my invitations was to do the same: Have a few consistent elements that can be incorporated in different ways to compliment each other and look like a cohesive set, not the same piece.

Our elements were reversed text, stripes, banners, varying shapes and three fonts.

The true test, would be graphic designing fiance like it? Score! He did!

The big question I get is whether I think it’s necessary to do RSVPs. The truth is, many brides don’t get enough feedback for the price they pay to pay for the extra postage and actual card. We decided to send two different RSVP options. To those we knew would respond by mail, like my grandmother, we sent a traditional RSVP. To our tech-friends we sent them a card sending them to our website.

Brides, don’t be afraid to split it up. No guest list will ever be made up of all people who will respond through mail or respond through website. If you really want to get a response back, consider the medium they will find easiest. Out of 250 guest, we heard from everyone but about 20 people. At the point, we facebooked. : )

So now we had our envelope complete and invitations to match. Done right? Not quite! As I put the sample invitation into envelope, I notice text liner and text invitations clash quite a bit! About 5 minutes away from throwing in the towel and scrapping all the hard work, I had an idea. Crisis averted! We opted for a tri-fold black piece of card stock and bakers twine to make it visually aesthetic right as guest pulled out their invitation.

We designed several other pieces for the wedding day.

Our guest book marriage license, marriage tips from our guest, food tags, silly string labels and programs.

We continued the book theme by creating mini booklet programs. I loved the idea of doing white ink of black paper (reverse text, anyone?) but didn’t like the price for printing white ink! Instead I created a stamp and stamped each cover of the booklet with white ink. Very cost effective brides!

Well that was quite a bit of talking on stationery. I’ll let the photos (by Jason Cohen and Mark Eric!) do the rest of it!

The Details

December 17, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  2 Comments

The main inspiration for our wedding day was a Barq’s rootbeer can.

It’s my biggest sweet tooth weakness. One day I was looking at the design and loved the feel and colors. Things we took from it directly were the silver, seen in the mercury glass, ribbon banner seen in the invitations and greenery seen in the moss.

Another big theme we played with were letters. Tyler is a graphic designer and web developer. We incorporated it in the book pages, letters at the photo booth, toy block letters at the bar and other places.

For the ceremony, we just did candelight. Brides, it’s a great way to work with a venue that may not mesh well with your colors. Our colors were blue, green, black and white. Not red velvet curtain. : ) BUT we loved the look of the theater so a nice glow worked for us! We lined the stairs up the the opera house and the aisle itself with mercury glass candleholders.

To say that I’m a bit picky about flowers is an understatement! I know the names and when their in season, the pricing and colors. I was quite the undertaking as a client and Rodney and crew did an outstanding job. He knew anemones were a must for me and made sure to have them their (even though it took an arm an a leg to get them). And even made sure to have ranunculus. I honestly thought these would be impossible to get because they are available in spring not fall. Did I mention I was also picky about the containers? I didn’t make their job easy but they were so sweet and accommodating for my request. Whatever sounded far-fetched, Rodney still made happen.

I’ve worked with the team at Party Central on a lot of different weddings and they have always done such a good job from picking items to setup and tear down. I didn’t need much set up but had fallen in love with a certain new linen I had seen there months before. It was a soft burlap dressed up with threads of silver: just the perfect complement to my bark meets mercury glass centerpieces. Also on this table is our “marriage license” guestbook!

“Best wedding food ever.” We heard this from tons of our guest. Zea’s is a staple restaurant in Lafayette for delicious food. Serve that up at a wedding? Just as amazing! I knew the food would be good but actually hadn’t done a wedding with them before my own. I was so pleased with their service and presentation! As I mentioned before, I was making it a point to eat at my wedding. When I finally got to my plate about 15 minutes after it was served, it was still deliciously hot! And did I mention they have very very reasonable prices?? I could not have been happier with the job they did for us!! It was special for us to share just one more thing with our guest that was part of relationship prior to our wedding. We had attended Zea’s on several special or even not so special occasions.

Green snap peas and dirty rice

Duck empanadas (my fave!!)

Individual-sized hummus

And everyone’s favorite: Thai Ribs!

Throughout my past two years of being a wedding planner I get a big craving for Crystal Weddings cake about once a month. It’s usually fulfilled by a wedding I have that month. They have done a wonderful job for me countless times before my own wedding. It wasn’t a question where I’d be getting my sweet tooth fix! I change my wedding cake design, oh, THREE times. Yep. And each time they were so willing and polite to accommodate it. I absolutely loved the flavors we chose and am actually still getting to enjoy the leftovers like it was baked yesterday. Crystal Weddings offers a free tasting for brides and also sends couples home with a separate freezer-ready top tier so when you finally eat it on your one year anniversary, you won’t have to worry about freezer burn. It also allows you to cut up your entire cake on the wedding day to serve to guest.

We had a wonderful mutual friend who has baked and decorated beautiful cakes for a bunch of birthdays for our friends. She’s so creative and talented. She made one of Tyler’s favorite desserts: The Double Doosie. It’s two cookies sandwiched between icing. Michelle, is probably used to making a dozen or so at a time, made 200 double doosies! They were definitely a favorite among our guest!

A Ring Bowl from Paloma’s Nest. We seriously use this every night to keep our rings so they never get lost.

I bought all the vases and candle holders and vintage books. If you are looking for a similar look, I will be posting soon about how to rent them.

We had guest give us their best marriage advice when they RSVP’d online. We placed them on many of the tables. 

We set up a photo booth with letters for people to create words.

Their advice? Fight Nude. You’ll either end up laughing or making up. ; )

Recreating the classic bride and groom pose. 

My office mates!

In this photo, if you notice the frame on the right, after Tyler and I got engaged, his mom gave me a gift. It was a frame of photos of Tyler as a child and a note he wrote August 28, 1993. It said “I will not kiss the bride.” With a picture of a bride and groom. He had told him mom around that time that he wanted to get married but didn’t want to kiss his bride. And August 28?? That’s actually my birthday!

For our exit, we decided on silly string. I wish I could claim that I created the idea but I actually saw it in Tara Guerard‘s book of weddings. But why did I think it fit us?? We included the story on the can. “One day Tyler told Valerie ‘We’re on the same team, silly.’  Valerie said ‘Team Silly?’  The name stuck. Thank you for celebrating the official joining of team silly. Send us off with a shower of silly string.

The Reception

December 14, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  2 Comments

We kicked off the reception with our first dance, a special song to us “Precious Love” by James Morrison.

Me and Pops busted a move to Sammy Holbrook singing a modified version of “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan

These are four of my best friends in the world. And I love this picture because any given visit, we are laughing this much. Now we had proof. 

Mother-Son Dance was “In My Life” by The Beatles. LOVED THIS!

Time to make it official! And cut the cake. We opted out of gathering the wedding party around the cake table. I knew I’d rather enjoy the party than spend a good bit of time wrangling the wedding party for a photo op around the cake table.

Milk and Cookies for the Groom’s Cake

Then time to kick off the shoes…

And dance!

And sing!

When I first heard Sammy Holbrook sing at a rehearsal we were both working, I cried. No lie. It was beautiful and had me full of the emotions a wedding should bring. All at the rehearsal. Like with some of my other vendors, I probably wasn’t their easiest client. : ) I requested that Sammy sing a song as I walked down the aisle. “Heavenly Day” by Patty Griffin. He learned it in a week for piano and vocals. I distinctly remember walking down the aisle and not wanting the walk to end because I wanted to keep hearing the beautiful song. Sammy not only DJs but also sings. When one song fades out he hops on the mike. It takes the guests a few seconds to realize, “No, that’s not Marvin Gaye singing…that’s our DJ!” It always spices up the night. He even sang a King’s of Leon song he remembered me liking that he played during setup for another wedding we had worked together. His soulful voice totally made this decision a no-brainer. He will wow your audience. No question!


And garter toss.

For our wedding, Chris from BrideFilm decided to pull out all the stops. About 15 minutes before it was time to leave the reception, Sammy our DJ announced a special treat for our guest, a trailer video of the day on a big screen TV. More tears ensued. It was so amazing to relive the day and share with our guests what had taken place that they hadn’t seen.

I love my sister’s reaction!!

Check out the video here!! You will not be disappointed!

What can I say? Proof is in the pudding! Tell me you didn’t cry watching this video? Not because of me and Tyler, but because of the amazing way Chris and his team tell a story. I remembered when I first checked out their site for a client, I teared up when I saw one of their videos. I didn’t know the couple at all. That’s how I knew they were good.

Then it was time for our exit. We chose silly string (more info on that tomorrow!)

Such a magical end to a magical day!

Photos by Jason Cohen and Mark Eric.

Next Up: The Details

The Ceremony & The Portraits

December 14, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  No Comments

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves today! (with a little commentary! ; )

As soon as I saw the candles down the aisle I started to cry. Why did that trigger my tears? Because I had this image of how it would look throughout the engagement…and it was exactly as I imagined it! I just couldn’t believe I was in this moment I had dreamed of for so long.

I was a basket case! Felt like such a lucky girl. I just love Tyler’s cute expression!

So we had one little mishap. I put my engagement ring on my right hand as is tradition so the wedding band can be closer to your heart. After the wedding band is placed on the finger, the engagement band can be placed on top. Well when they announced for Tyler to put on the ring, I looked down, saw my engagement ring on my right hand and gave it too him. Then quickly pulled it back!

Tumble! We dropped the ring. : ) I love my bridesmaids reactions in these next two. 

Josh, our minister, is a dear friend of Tyler’s. It was so special to have him a part of our ceremony. Our pastor at the church we attend gave a charge to us. I value everything they said! So heartfelt and meaningful.


Brides, if you are trying to decide what to get your groom for the wedding gift, might I suggest a boudoir album by Courtney of The Boudoir Vixen?? Check out more of the album reveal and my thoughts on her blog here


Your formals don’t have to be on the altar. I found these vintage chairs and couch and knew it’d be a fun spot.

Photos by Jason Cohen and Mark Eric.

Next up: The Reception!!

The Prep

December 12, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  2 Comments

Hello everyone! Today we have photos from our prep on the wedding day and the first look. As I was trying to decide what images to choose, I had trouble narrowing them down. They all tell the story of us. Brides, your wedding day can have inspiration from anywhere but make sure it’s still about the two of you as a couple. It’s easy to get lost in the details. Enough chatter! On to some photos! (by Jason Cohen and Mark Eric)

We got ready at the Carriage House Suites. It’s my top recommended hotel for wedding prep and wedding nights. The rooms AND customer service are amazing. 

Paint on my pants!

Tyler’s sister (and bridesmaid) Leah, knew I didn’t have a something blue so she painted my pinky toe nail that color!

Paint on Tyler! We must be more alike than we think.

Throughout our dating relationship, Tyler would pick me up a card or flowers from Albertsons (because I also enjoyed arranging them myself). He stopped for one last card before our wedding. 

The thing is, he never just gets a normal card. He always gets a random card and make it make sense for us. 

And he usually writes them while he’s still there.

Then I heard a knock on the door! I thought it was someone dropping off something from Tyler. Just before I walked out, my sister stopped me! We talked but didn’t see eachother. 

You’re 6 Today became “You’re Wedding Day Today.”

And he read a sweet note I wrote him! 

Then got ready backstage.

Now Tyler is pretty hi-tech. He had his vows typed on his phone but worked to write them out before showtime. He thought reading from an iPhone might be a little unromantic. ; )

The First Look! Ladies, if you are considering a first look, I highly recommend it. I sort of HATE being in front of large groups of people. This totally put me at ease. I loved sharing in a few minutes together. It also gave us a chance to get some great photos together in the daylight (those to come tomorrow). Also, we wrote our own vows so we took this time to read them to each other so we wouldn’t ball at the ceremony. While I still cried like a baby, I did enjoy hearing them and sharing that experience just the two of us. 

Then it was back to get ready for the ceremony! Here is my precious flower girl Grace! 

A sweet prayer from Dad. 

Then we wait…

A quick peek…

And showtime! 

Tomorrow I share pictures of the ceremony and our portrait session.

The Rehearsal

December 10, 2010  |  In Her Shoes  |  1 Comment

I always tell my brides, the rehearsal is one of the most special times you’ll experience. Very rarely will you have all the people that most important to you in one room. It was an unforgettable night and I will remember every sweet word our family and friends said.

City Club’s Restaurant 1100 was the site of our rehearsal dinner. It was absolutely perfect. They take care of so much. When my mother-in-law asked what I’d want as far as decor, I told her it needed nothing and to not stress about it. It would be beautiful. And it was!! Brides, if you are looking for a site to have your rehearsal dinner or wedding (for under 125) I highly recommend the Restaurant 1100. Hannah Trahan, the events director, (who you’ll hear more about next week) does such an amazing job making things simple for brides.

And the photos were shot by office mate Jason Cohen. So thankful for his capturing so many memories throughout this season, like the proposal, engagements, wedding and even finding my wedding shoes! You will hear lots more on Jason too next week!

I’m pretty sure I made a joke because that’s what I usually do when I’m uncomfortable. 

On to dinner!

Tyler’s grandfather said the blessing…

The meal of course had a few Southern favorites. Corn macque choux, bread pudding and Community Coffee.

I LOVED the black and white striped chairs. 

On to the toasts!

Natalie gave a great toast that had us laughing…

and crying…

Tyler’s little brother gave a touching toasts too. I’m so proud of both of them!

Tyler thanked everyone…

Then we passed out gifts for the bridal party.

First look at some of our Southern Life Collection!

The night was such a blessing! We are so thankful for the people that surround us. Brides, this is one part of the “wedding” that you should leave completely up to someone else. You have the wedding to worry about. Leave room to enjoy the evening. You won’t want to miss it!

Biggest blessing?? We both have wonderful parents that love us so much! Thanks y’all! We love you!