If you have read part 1, part 2, and part 3, you are well aware that my Mom and Aunt Mary are like two Martha Stewarts on steroids. I am not kidding. They can do anything. Make it, sew it, build it, hammer it, cut it, dig it, plant it, construct it, destruct it and so on, and so on, and on and on and on. I am convinced that there is no one like them on the planet. They are my idols. My Aunt Mary would drive 2 hours to our house every weekend to help with wedding prep. Her and my Mom were up at 4am every morning, to beat the ridiculous 110 degree heat, to work on the wedding site. I mentioned that I wanted a bar built out of pallets, and this is what they made. Let me rephrase that, my Aunt Mary first made a 4 inch model, to scale, and then they made the life size version. I told you, Martha's on steroids over here.
See that green ladder laying horizontally above the bar? My mom and I spotted that gem at a garage sale one Saturday morning. While approaching the sale, we both eeked with excitement at the sight of it. When I garage sale with my Mom we never have to use words. We both knew exactly what we wanted to use it for. And lucky for us, the seller was asking $5. And, BONUS, they had another one that we used over the dessert bar. Now, what you can't see from this picture is that these ladders are the old, straight wood kind that you can't find anywhere anymore. Back it it's heyday, the ladder was a perfect shade of kelly green, but time had taken it's toll on it, which is exactly how we like things, all chipped and old. It was easy for the seller to pick up on our excitement, so, naturally she must have been curious and asked what we were using them for. When I told her it was for my wedding, she looked horrified. Well, at first, she kind of chuckled, because she thought I was joking. And then, when she noticed the dead serious look on my face, she was horrified. At that point, there is no use in me trying to explain it to her. And I totally understand. Some people just don't get it. I mean, it you can't understand how this dirty, beaten up, chipped ladder is going to work in the scheme of my wedding, then I just can't help you. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Oh, and I forgot to mention this little gem that my Mom built out of an old headboard. We used it as a smaller bar to hold ice tea, lemonade and water for when the guests initially arrived before the ceremony.
August 25th, 2012. Here we are, 14 days before the wedding. 378 DIY projects and 547 sleepless nights later. The excitement and anxiety at this point is almost too much for me to bear. As I previously mentioned, Cole and I were living apart during this whole process, so I can't put into words how excited I was when Cole finally moved back to California two weeks before the wedding.
Living 2,500 miles apart is hard enough, but throw planning a wedding into the mix and it can get down right hard and stressful. But all was well when he flew into town and into my arms. On the Wednesday before the wedding, we headed down to the court house to get our wedding license. This moment will live in my heart forever. Just the two of us, finally. I remember both of us tearing up (shhhh, don't tell Cole I told you) on our drive while listening to our first dance song. It was happiness in its purest form. All the craziness from planning a wedding can take a toll, so it was so nice to have this moment together to truly remember why we were doing all of this.
I also whipped up some signs for our bar menu a few days before the wedding. I ordered our wine from OneHope which is a brilliant wine company that gives 50% of their profits from each varietal back to partner non profits through their foundation. I learned about this company when I was attending FIDM. One of my classmates, Megan, who is not only a very talented interior designer but (while attending FIDM) was (and still is) an integral part of this start-up company (yes, she is amazing) and I just fell in love with their charitable concept. If you are going to serve wine at your wedding, why not support a company that gives back?
My Mom, Natalie and I went to the LA flower mart on Thursday morning to pick up all the flowers that I had ordered 2 weeks prior. A few months back, my wonderful friend Megan, that I mentioned earlier, from OneHope and designwinedine.com and had met me at the flower mart and gave me the run down on wedding flowers, since she is a flower arranging goddess. She introduced me to her favorite vendors within the flower mart and suggested that I head to the mart two weeks before the wedding to decide which flowers I want and how much of each I would need and place my orders then. I'm so grateful I did because it really allowed me the opportunity to take my time and really decide what I wanted. I put a 50% deposit down on the orders and paid the remaining balance when I picked them up two days before the wedding. Trust me, you do not want to try to be figuring this all out two days before your wedding. For me, I needed every hour I could get in the days leading up to the wedding, and it was so perfect to just walk in, pick up the flowers and leave. It literally took 45 minutes.
I have zero pictures of us putting the arrangements together. At that point we were 72 hours out from the wedding and I literally felt like my head wasn't attached to my body. I feel the need to apologize to all my family and friends who interacted with me at this time. All of my bridesmaids helped put together the arrangements and they did an incredible job.
My sister in law, Annie, stepped in and worked her magic on the bridesmaids bouquets and groomsman's boutonnieres.
The night before the wedding, at about 11:47pm, my friend Brittany and I put together my bouquet. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was pretty proud of the way it turned out.
My bridesmaids and I finally got to the hotel at about 1am. Of course, before we went to sleep, I read them my vows that I had been working on for 18 months/our entire engagement and we all balled our eyes out. Good one Casey. Real smart. The bags under my eyes the next morning were bulging.
Of course, sleep was almost impossible to accomplish that night. I have never experienced that kind of excitement before. Just thinking about it gives me butterflies.
The next day was the best ever. I was so relaxed it almost freaked me out. I guess I came to the conclusion that I did all that I could do (as far as planning was concerned) and I just enjoyed the day. I was surrounded by my most cherished friends and we just drank champagne and hung out. It was the best.
Of course, I had to fit in one more DIY project. I stitched our wedding date in my dress in my "something blue" thread
One of Cole's BFL's (bestie for life) snapped this picture right before I was going to walk down the aisle. I think he took it with his iPhone and it's one of my favorite pictures of that day. Not just because of the picture itself, although the lighting is beautiful, but because of what this moment represented to me. There I stood, about to walk into the next chapter of my life. When I look at this picture I can clearly remember all of the feelings that I was experiencing at that exact moment. Happy, nervous and excited almost beyond my heart and minds capabilities. A beautiful moment that would have passed me by and been lost in the shuffle of all the memories that night if it had not been frozen in a picture.
joy in its purest form.
The green foam shakas were, hands down, the best gift we received. Cole is born and raised in Hawaii, so it was a nod to his Hawaiian roots. Cole's groomsman, Matt, had his girlfriend Emily design them. He passed them out during the ceremony and everyone waved them in the air once we were pronounced husband and wife. And they were used extensively throughout the night.
I think it's safe to say that this night was the best of my life. We danced until 2am. And even then, I wasn't ready for it to be over.
The moral of the wedding story: enjoy every moment! You know all of those little details that you stressed about? Guess what? They don't matter. Do you know what I remembered from that day? It wasn't the food, or the centerpieces, or the table runners, or the chairs. It was the moment my Mom put my veil on. It was the moment I walked down the aisle with my Dad and asked him to say something funny to keep me from crying (it didn't work, sorry Dad). It was the look on Cole's face when he finally got to hear my vows. It was taking his hand to walk back up the aisle. It was being wrapped in love and warmth from our guests. It was dancing my heart out with my closest friends and family while drinking champagne from the bottle (yup.) I remember great love, sweet joy, and immeasurable happiness. I remember my cheeks hurting from laughing so hard. It was everything I could have ever hoped for and more.
most photographs here were taken by the insanely talented Michael Radford
P.S. I am currently editing all of our wedding footage. I mean, it wouldn't be me if I didn't have one last DIY project. Now I know why videographers charge so much. Editing is no joke. Be on the look out for it soon.