24 July 2009


photo: Print

May 9, 2009 was perfection.

All of my favorite people were there to see my most favorite person and I say "I do" and the day went SO smoothly. No rain, there was no drama, I was never nervous,
I didn't cry, my dress zipped, all bridesmaid dresses zipped, I didn't trip and fall, my makeup didn't get shiny, my bustle stayed in place, all vendors were where they were supposed to be and made everything happen, the cake was graphic, gorgeous, and delicious, almost all of the cookies were eaten, and people noticed EVERY detail. The programs, place cards, menus, little signs, guest book, the birds on my bridesmaids' hoodies, our shoes...everything. Even though I approached the day as the biggest graphic design project of my life and chose to do projects just because I love the details, it was so great to have people like my great aunt and a groomsman comment that they noticed it all. I never expected that. So worth it. And the day felt so us.

29 April 2009

making the honeymoon decision...again

I want the most "bang for my buck", even when buying shoes or cereal but especially on the large purchases, such as a honeymoon. When it came to finding the place to spend my own, the whole world before me was way too much. To narrow it down a bit, I knew I wanted a beach and Nathan wanted a short flight, but the options still seemed limitless. One Friday a few months ago, Nathan finally brought his laptop to me with photos and details of 2 options in Riviera Maya, my suggested destination, and made me choose which we would stay at. Both were all inclusive and had the modern decor that really attracted me. I made a choice, he dealt with Expedia, and we were both relieved that the trip was finally planned and started getting excited for paradise!

Now, 10 days from the wedding, we've had to reconsider due to the swine flu. Not good timing for anyone with plans to head to Mexico, but especially for an indecisive girl trying to finalize every other detail of the very soon wedding.

Where to go now?!

(photo: from my family vacation to Maui, May 2008)

14 March 2009

Decision: to Save the Date or not Save the Date

Our kitten Natalie was near the best source of natural light in the house, so she got to pose with our postcard

As a graphic designer, there was no question for me as to whether we'd send a Save the Date or not. Since most of our guests live in Columbus, or at least within driving distance, it wasn't a complete necessity, but I've taken any excuse to design paper pieces for our wedding. Once we had picked the date and color scheme, it was an easy process from there.

I knew I wanted to keep them inexpensive since a chunk of our budget would be needed for the actual invitations, and a postcard seemed like a natural way to convey our message.
The one indecisive moment that arose was when considering how to print the postcards. I requested letterpress quotes and purchased a gocco, but the letterpress would not have allowed me to flood the page with green and was too costly for us so early in the game, and the gocco was too small and didn't allow for the oversized cards I envisioned. Ultimately, I used a laser printer, and I was really happy with the clean results. Cutting corners in some places has allowed us to spend more in others, and this was a perfect situation to create something inexpensive yet still stylish.

I think the 250 page pack of 100lb. Cougar paper in bright white cost me all of $11 and I have access to an incredible laser printer, so really the only expense was a bit of a splurge on postage from zazzle. I wish the site didn't charge so much on top of the postage itself, but I think the details are the most important part of a design and Nathan agreed it would complete the piece, so we went with it. In the end, we got more comments on the stamp than the design, so it was really worth it. (People love a novelty!) I went with typefaces that were already on my Mac, and I knew I wanted our names to be big and bold with a calendar incorporated somewhere (much like the Chewing the Cud Save the Date featured on my inspiration board).

One design sacrifice was the rounded the corners I originally planned for, but upon researching the USPS regulations, I discovered postcards need square corners to be mailable. (So glad I discovered that before rounding them all; it pays to do a little reasearch beforehand!) In the end, the design of the postcards paved the way for the rest of the invitation suite (which went into the mail a few days ago) and one friend described them as chic, which made my day.

the front of our Save the Date

the back, with our custom stamp

Design nerd moment: I determined that the green I'd use for all the printed pieces would be PMS 376 by holding a Pantone chip book up next to my shoes and choosing the color that most closely matched. Yes, I realize this is overly obsessive, but it helps to be consistent! Plus I love that everything comes back to the shoes :)

10 March 2009

Decision #3: THE dress

I love to shop. I prefer to shop by myself. That way I can go at my own speed, linger over the items I like, and try on as many shirts as I'd like, without holding anyone up. This wasn't really an option when wedding dress shopping, but I did keep my shopping entourage pretty small. My mom accompanied my indecisive self to about six stores around Columbus in the course of a month. We saw many pretty styles and a bunch that flattered my shape, but since it seems like 90% of the options out there are strapless (not the most flattering on my long torso), it took me awhile to find "the one".

I had been stalking a gorgeous mermaid dress with a v-neck on Pricilla of Boston's website, but I knew it would be out of my budget. My mom offered to buy my dress as a gift, which is so amazingly generous, but I knew I could not abuse her generosity. I preferred the streamlined look while my mom gravitated to rouching, and I'm so lucky that she never once made me feel like I had to buy the dress that she liked just because she was buying (but I did have to try on a few that I otherwise would not have given a second glance to!). My most promising trip was to Saks, where I gravitated toward styles from Amsale and Monique Lhuillier, and I left that particular trip really liking a unique strapless with a crumb catcher and a sleek gown with a plunging neckline. Ultimately, I decided that while the dresses were beautiful, they weren't what I wanted for my one and only...and the Pricilla dress was in the back of my head the whole time. Many dresses had components I liked (buttons down the back!), but none had them all.

On a Saturday in October, just seven months before the wedding, we, along with my sister, headed to Bridal and Formal in Cincinnati, and the first one I tried that trip was an Alvina Valenta with a subtle mermaid shape, v-neck, and even my beloved buttons all the way down the back. I compared it to the other 12 dresses I tried on the rest of the time I was there, but I realized quickly that that one felt most me. Looking back, I think Monica Geller's dress was a long forgotten point of inspiration.


Once they placed a long veil on with it and a whimsical hair piece, I had my complete look. I was a bride that thought I'd never wear a veil, but I couldn't believe how much different (and more bride-like) I felt with such accessories. We took all of it, hit up Quiznos, and headed home to watch the Buckeye game. I was so relieved to have found my gown after rejecting hundreds, and I really hoped it wouldn't take more than four to six months to arrive. (It ended up arriving in Columbus in January.) Since then, I've had to refrain from peeking at the new 2009 collections that have appeared online! I just love eye candy.

28 February 2009

Decision #2: the colors & an inspiration board

I've been reading wedding blogs since long before I was engaged, justifying that I was getting inspiration as a graphic designer, which was mostly true. But naturally, I was also gathering ideas for a day I knew would come eventually. I had always been drawn to the black, white, & green color combination, so the color decision wasn't too tough. The difficulty comes when I see other weddings that have such great and original color schemes. I knew that my bridesmaids would probably have to wear black, and it was photos like this that made me second guess the colors I chose.

I knew I liked a neutral pair with a pop of something, and the black, white, and green certainly fits the bill. Ultimately, my choice was almost made for me when I came across a pair of alluring apple green heels across the shoe department at my local Nordstrom. I glanced over, saw them on a pedestal, and said to my mom, "That's the green I want for my wedding!" I had envisioned a more delicate shoe, but these were the most perfect color and I could not pass them up. They became my first wedding purchase, and a few months later, I came across a blog post that had my exact shoes (and the same spectators my groom-to-be and I had chosen for him). I just love the way they photograph!

Going through the stockpile of images I had gathered, the trend certainly emerged that I gravitated to the color combination, and since my fiancé also responded favorably to the color combination, I figured we had a winner. He's had very rare opinions to the wedding choices I've made, and I'm glad we went with my first instinct. I had to rebuild my image library after a MacBook hard drive crash, but one Saturday in September I assembled my inspiration board, and it's been such a great reference to go back to and see just how well everything is lining up.

29 January 2009

Decision #1: the venues and the date

I am a coastal girl at heart that was born, raised, and still lives in the Midwest. Not sure how that happened, but I've always been so attracted to anything related to California or NYC, and I've felt so at home whenever I've visited either. When I graduated college, I said that I wanted to go somewhere larger or warmer than what Ohio offers, but my laziness and dislike of change combined with a city containing my boyfriend, family, future in-laws, friends, a job I like, and low cost of living has led me to remain in my hometown longer than I anticipated. When it came to starting the venue search, I didn't have a lot of hope searching in such a city. All I wanted was a clean and modern space, such as The Viceroy in California or The Metropolitan Pavilion in NYC. Or a place with a beach and no threat of rain in May, such as Club 19 at the St. Regis in Southern California. Is that too much to ask? Well, naturally yes, since I was looking at locations in the center of the country. I searched for months to find something that reflected my style, and I said over and over no hotels or country clubs. The thought of drop ceiling panels in every photo makes me cringe.

When I came across the Venue at Smith Brothers early in my search, I thought I could stop looking because I had found a fun modern space! Yet of course I knew deep down it would be a long shot because Nathan is strongly against exposed brick, which I've always thought lended a loft-like feel. The Venue wasn't the first place I visited, but eventually I did rule it out since I don't think our estimated party of 180 would fit. And a flickr photo album I came across showing how dark it could look in photos. My mom and I visited many many places in Columbus, the Vault (not kept up as well as I'd like), the Museum (while beautiful, not enough "elbow room" for our group according to my mom), the Conservatory (my obsession until I saw the caterer's estimate), the Athenaeum (would have been the most reasonable cost-wise downtown), Corazon (beautiful exterior, but the room was a bit too red, too small, and thank God I didn't book there since it has since closed!).

I had been so set on having a wedding downtown so that the hotel, church, reception, and after-hours fun would all be walkable or with taxis available. I still wish our locations, chosen in the suburbs, were closer together since I dislike moving all over town at other weddings, but I am so happy with our locations that proximity had to be sacrificed. My "no country club" rule was reconsidered once I went to a college roommate's wedding and I saw how lovely it was without being too cookie cutter. While I'm attracted to places with a bit more personality and that are more industrial, guests don't necessarily see them the same way, and I finally came to terms with that and moved the search out of downtown. My mom and I visited a couple country clubs close to where we live, and I found that I was really drawn to the high ceilings and chandeliers at the Country Club at Muirfield Village. After drawing out the process as long as I could, we finally put a deposit on it. This happened around the same time we had been meeting with a deacon at the Catholic church Nathan's parents belong to, and May 9, 2009 was available at both spots. After about three months of engagement, hours of researching online, driving around Columbus, indecisiveness, and many questions of "Have you set the date yet?", two big decisions were made! It's a bit more preppy than I originally envisioned, and not at all industrial, but it's lovely, and now that I've had a menu tasting there (more on that later), I'm even more thrilled with our choice.

I forgot to take my camera when we stopped by the first time (when a lovely wedding of about 250 was being set up), but I snuck out to take a few photos after work one day so that I'd be able to reference the main part of the room when planning. I took a couple photos, and layered the windows in to show the great view of the golf course outside.

24 January 2009

The Boy: easiest decision yet

At the end of the wedding day, the most important detail of all is that I'll be married to my favorite person in the world. At least there's been one no-brainer decision in all of this!

Nathan and I, July 2008

Nathan and I have known of each other since first grade, since we went to the same Catholic grade school for eight years. The classes of 60 were split between 2 teachers, so some years we were in the same group of 30, others we weren't. We hung out a bit in eighth grade, and he claims he had a fleeting crush on me, but when he went to the all-boys high school, and I went to the co-ed school, we didn't see each other for a couple years. He transferred to my school our junior year, and I probably passed him in the hallway a few times, but that was our only interaction.

By a random group of events the summer before our senior year, our circles of friends began to overlap, and I couldn't resist his sense of humor, charming ways, and blue eyes. From November of 2001 on, we've been together, through 4 years of colleges that were 2.5 hours apart, another year when I took a job an hour and a half from our hometown and he lived with his parents, and another couple of years finally sharing the same city again. Which brings us to June 29, 2008.

We had just spent the weekend out of town, seeing my second baseball game ever, and he got a phone call from the jeweler that my ring was ready. This, by the way, is a ring I knew absolutely nothing about. Apparently he and his mom had visited a few of the local jewelers, and he finally found something that felt "Lynn" to him. It had to be a custom order, and after he picked it up, it was burning a hole in his cargo pocket. I, oblivious to his recent purchase, didn't hurry home from family dinner/laundry night when he called wanting to go to the park that Sunday evening. At 10:30pm when I walked in the door and he still wanted to go, I didn't think much of it since it was a nice summer night.

We got to the swings, my favorite part of any park, and while I was swinging away and he started saying how much he loved me, I knew something felt different. The second he reached for the pocket of his shorts, I instantly knew he was reaching for a ring. I stopped swinging immediately, and I think my jaw hit the ground because I thought it would be at least another year or so before he'd be ready to get married. He opened the box to reveal a cluster of tiny sparkles and asked the question I never told him I couldn't wait to hear. I think I said, "Of course!" and then grabbed his hand and pulled him over to stand under the lamp post, so that I could see the ring more clearly. Through happy tears, I asked a million questions of how long he had been planning this, and we walked back home so that I could call all of the people that didn't know yet, my friends and family since his already knew.

I couldn't believe how many people began to ask, when's the wedding? as I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my boyfriend of eight years was suddenly my "fiancé". I was so content to just be engaged, and I cherished that for as long as I could. And then the planning began...

July 3, 2008 saying, "Nathan, take my next Facebook photo!"

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