Thursday, November 17, 2011

Our Wedding (6.17.11)

Hiya! K here. I figured it would be wise to start off our marriage blog with the first day of our marriage! When I stumble upon a new blog the first thing I do is search to see if there is a 'wedding post.' I ADORE seeing all the pictures and reading all the details of couple's special days. It's the best portrayal of personality and style. So fun!! So, if you are anything like me, you will enjoy this post, as I take you through all the details of our super lovely day (if I do say so myself). This will be fun for the people who didn't attend, AND a reminder for those who did! Enjoy! 

First of all, for those who don't know, Jake and I were married 5 days before our 7 year anniversary. We are  SO blessed to have that opportunity and still get giddy thinking about it. In our Christian faith, the number seven holds an incredible amount of symbolism and power. I obviously won't get into all of them here and now, but the number 7 can be found ALL OVER the old and new testaments of the Bible, the most popular being that during creation, God rested on the 7th day. It's a symbol of completion. God created the WORLD in seven days. With the power of that in my mind, it literally brings me to tears when I think of all of the beauty, life, love, strength, wisdom, and grace he orchestrated in our relationship during 7 years he was working on us and preparing us for marriage. Anyways, I'm quickly realizing I will need to dedicate an entire blog post to this subject some day. Moving on....

We got married at The Victorian Gardens in Kingsburg, CA. Literally the prettiest wedding venue I have EVER been to, and I can't imagine getting married ANYWHERE else. It fit our theme flawlessly, and Kathy, the owner was the biggest help and sweetest woman on earth. Love her! 

Our AMAZING photographer was Derek Tipton. After our stunning Engagement Pictures, we knew he would do wonderfully at our wedding. We actually always joke that we need to hurry up and grow a fetus so he can take our Maternity and Newborn pictures! :) 

Ok, ceremony time. Jake and I were so-beyond-words-blessed to be married by our high school youth pastor/previous boss/lifelong friend/father figure, Clete Walker. It had always been established that he would marry us when the time came, and we literally can't imagine anybody else being more qualified for the job. Clete was there to mentor us through one of our very first fights back in 2005. He knows SO WELL and that was very evident during our ceremony. Plus, he is one of the funniest people I know. In fact, I often tell people that I didn't really cry during our wedding because I was too busy laughing, which is much more fun than crying anyways. 

As I stated earlier, we got married in the middle of June. Yahoo weather claimed the day would be in the 80's, but I sweated FAR more than that. Luckily, we had pre-designed our programs to be fans. Our best friend/best man is a graphic design major and made us these super duper awesome programs! We just got them printed, folded them in half, and glued on a craft stick! Cute AND practical. 

On top of that, we had beautiful parasols for people to use to hide from the sun. They were also helpful, but added to the classic vintage charm and look REALLY lovely in pictures :) 

Now, I bet you're wondering who that model child is in the previous picture, right? We had (hands down) the most adorable flower girl and ring bearers in the history of weddings. It worked out perfectly that my cousins, Hailey and Dylan and Jake's cousins, Addie and Jameson are all the perfect age and really beautiful. So we used them all :) The girl's dresses were like 20something dollars at Baby Gap. Aren't they PERFECT?! We got the little guy's suits at Macy's for like 30something bucks? I can't remember exact prices, but they were definitely reasonable, reuseable and ADORABLE! 

Also, the ring bearer's precious sign was a last minute DIY project made of scrap frame backing material (idk the proper name), chalkboard paint, and we had a friend of ours, who is also a barista, write Here Comes the Bride for us. Everyone knows that baristas have the best handwriting. 

I had both of my dad's walk me down the aisle. My stepdad has been in my life for as long as I can remember, so it only seemed fitting. It was absolutely beautiful :) 
Oh, and while we are at it, isn't my dress the best?! I die for lace. I got it at Madeline's Bridal in Clovis, CA for a great price during a sample sale! I knew I really wanted a sample gown, especially since I wanted lace. There is just something about a new lace dress that I don't care for. I love the worn in and soft look of used lace. Anyways, the girls at Madeline's are my favorite. Madeline's was my first stop, and my dress was like the 4th one I tried on, but I have been to a few local bridal shops since, and nothing else compares. If you are getting married in the Central Valley, go there. You will not be disappointed. 

Jake and I thought it was really important for us to partake in communion during our ceremony. Looking back, it's one of my favorite parts of the day. With all of the excitement and energy, it was so beautiful to have a few minutes with God. Also, instead of a unity candle or sand ceremony, we did a braiding of 3 ropes (or ribbons purchased the day before at Michael's) One cord symbolized Jake, one me, and one God. The ceremony is based off Ecclesiastes 4:12, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A strand of three cords is not quickly broken." So powerful! During this time we had Bryan Vickers, our amazing wedding singer play I'll Always Love You by Phil Wickham. More about Bryan later, but it was AMAZING! (Also, in case you're curious, he played the ukulele and hummed Somewhere Over the Rainbow for our bridal party, played Cannon in D on the guitar for my walk down the aisle, and played and sang Til Kingdom Come by Coldplay for the Recessional. So perfect!)

Next up...Bridal Party! :) We seriously have the hottest friends. Well, and the sweetest and all that jazz. Seriously though, we always talk about how blessed we are by our friends. Anyone who knows us understands that our group is not the norm. Most of us have been friends forever, and it is honestly more like a family. We are proud that most of the people in the wedding are just as close to one of us than the other. I can honestly say that I know everyone in our bridal party beyond well, and that I love them ALL with every little piece of my heart. Ugh. Can't say it enough. Onto fashion, though. Finding affordable yellow dresses was THE BIGGEST PAIN ON EARTH. I really didn't want the girls to spend a fortune, and that made things VERY difficult. They ended up with the twist dress from dessy. I doubt they will ever wear it again, which is annoying, but it was great because it allowed every girl to wear a different style that they were comfortable in, and that complimented their figure. My amazing MOH found their perfect shoes at PAYLESS for $20!! Amazing, right? They went on sale in July and I got myself a pair to match :) They were just too cute. The gentlemen got their suits at The Fresno Suit Outlet. The process ended up being a bit of a mess, but the men looked fab, and they all got to KEEP THEIR SUITS for $100. So awesome! 
Now, remember earlier when I mentioned our wedding singer Bryan? Yeah, well he is awesome. One night before we were engaged, we went out to Harris Ranch one with Jake's parents and heard this guy playing in the bar. We sat for probably a good 45 minutes post dinner just to continue listening to him. Before we left, we threw some cash in his tip jar and grabbed a business card. A couple months later, in the midst of wedding plans, I walked by the refrigerator and saw Bryan's business card. We quickly established he HAD to be a part of our wedding somehow, so we hired him to sing our ceremony, "cocktail hour", and through dinner. Honestly, one of the best purchases of the wedding! So happy! Check him out for yourself! 
Did you notice I had cocktail hour in quotes above? Yeah, that's because we didn't have booze at the wedding. I'll talk more about money a little later, but alcohol wasn't something I really wanted our money to go to. My fabulous god-parents/aunt and uncle did give us all of the champagne and cider for our toasts. And it was AMAZING! Definitely not the cheapo stuff I would have settled for. Now, since we left out the alchy, I wanted to have fun drinks for people to enjoy. Although you can't quite tell in the photo below, we had 5 beautiful drink dispensers full of mint water, lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and ice tea. THEN (my fav part) we got a bunch of those yummy Torani flavored syrups for people to spice up their drinks with. I could drink peach teas allll night. 
I don't have a picture of the food, but we were so beyond blessed to have a family friend and ex boss cater for us. Originally I wanted to just have a burger bar, but after I thought of the messiness I decided tri tip and all the things that go along with it would be best. We got an unbelievable deal, and again, we could not be more thankful. So much love! 
One of my ultimate favorite details of the wedding was our AMAZING guest book. It was a bit pricey, but my fabulous cousin offered to get them for us as a special gift. So sweet! We got it from The Guest Book Store, and they were these awesome worksheets for our guests to fill out while they were waiting for dinner. It was so perfect and we had the best time reading them when we got home. I seriously couldn't be happier. Here is an example of one Jake's college roommates did. 

When it came to table decor, I wanted it to be simple. I hate nothing more than not being able to see the person on the other side of a table. Once we chose the venue, that decision made even more sense. The surroundings were so absolutely stunning that not much was needed. On half of the tables we just had white linens with various thrift store vases and yellow daisies and candles. On the other half of the tables we found really amazing yellow lace at Joann's that we used as overlays. On those tables we had borrowed hurricane lanterns with candles. We had established early on that our goal was for the wedding to be as personal as possible. I realized that a lot of weddings I had been to could be mistaken for anybody's if names on the invites were switched. We wanted our wedding to really show the guests who we were. Luckily after dating for seven years, you collect a heap of funny and sweet letters, cards, and other sorts of artifacts. One night I came up with the brilliant idea to frame them and place one on each table. This added a little jazz, and allowed the guests to have a little piece of our relationship at their table. Since most of them are from our awkward high school years, I'm sure they got a lot of laughs out of it too. I don't have a picture of a flower table, but here is a lace one: 
After looking at the picture I remembered two other things! We kept with the "story of us" theme for the table numbers and favors. Each table was assigned a name as well as a number. On the back of the card we gave a brief description of the significance of the table name. For example, table 7 was named "King Arthur" because it was the first movie date we ever went on since we both had a thing for Keira Knightly.  Again, this allowed the guests to get to know us a bit more (even though most of them know us a little too well already!) Also, over the 7 years of our relationship, we have accumulated a lot of "our songs." Every couple has at least one, and luckily we had an entire soundtracks worth! So, for our favors, we made everybody a mixed cd of some of the songs that have had significance to our relationship. From our very first song (Dashboard Confessional, just like every other teenaged couple in 2004) to our current/forever/first dance song. The favors were cheap, DIY friendly, and most importantly USEABLE! I love edible favors, but I wanted our guests to be able to enjoy them forever. 

Since we are on the subject of music, our first dance was to Brett Dennen's By and By. The song is absolutely perfect for us and the occasion. We had both been Brett fans for many years and the first time we listened to that song we established it would be forever ours and it was the obvious choice for our first dance as husband and wife! 

Next, Jake and his mom danced to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Since it is like 5,000 minutes long, and since Bryan is amazing, he played and sang it for them. It was so so so perfect for them! 

Next, I had two dad's to dance with. First, my dad and I danced to If Tomorrow Never Comes by Garth Brooks. We danced to it at his wedding, and it was always been our song. Love me some Garth. (Except apparently Youtube doesn't. Can't find the real version anywhere)
Then it was time for my stepdad and I to dance to Little Miss Magic by Jimmy Buffet :) So perfect! 

Oh! I almost forgot such a lovely part! During the 6 months of our engagement we were on the hunt for an awesome croquet set. I played croquet at a wedding when I was like 9 and never forgot it since. We figured it would be fun if people wanted to play it, but mostly we thought it was be great for pictures. AND IT WAS! We found the perfect vintage set at an antique store in old town Clovis for like $30. WIN! 

Now on to one of my favorite parts of the night: SPEECHES! I have been told many times we had the best toasts people had ever seen. I would have to agree. First, our dad's both spoke beautifully. Scott quoted the Sound of Music and my dad referenced my childhood love for breast milk, so they were both an obvious success. Then it was Joshy's turn. It started out like a typical best man's speech, but ended with all the groomsmen singing "Afternoon Delight." So obsessed with those boys. 
We obviously loved it. The video is hilarious when you see the pure surprise and joy on my face when they all stood up and started singing.
Then it was my fabulous MOH's turn. My fav movie of all the movies that will ever be made in the history of man is The Sound of Music. The minute I decided to buy my wedding dress, My Favorite Things  came on in the bridal salon. It was a total magical moment. Sneaky Ashley taped the magical moment and played it for everybody to see. THEN, she rewrote the lyrics to the song especially for us and played it for everybody. It was truly amazing! We keep the lyrics on our fridge and sing it often :) 

Next up: Cake! I hate cake. I would always rather eat more food than partake in dessert. However, it was always established that our super fabulous friend, Sarah Walker, would be making it for us! She is just the best. We knew we wanted cupcakes to go with the casual and laidback-ness of the wedding, plus they are easy to serve and eat. We just wanted simple and pretty and I couldn't be happier with the result. How pretty is that?! 

Next up, bouquet and garter toss. I only had one request for the bouquet toss. PLEASE GOD, NO SINGLE LADIES! I love the song, and it was cute the first 3 weddings I heard it at, but I refused to play it. Instead, I chose Spice Girls. Obvi. Jake's was the best, though. He had them play the Indiana Jones theme song. Hat and all, people. Golden. 
Josh and Lexi caught them both and are now engaged to be married this summer. haha It works! 

Finally it was time to party, and party we did. 

Oh, also, my amazing husband made the sweetest slideshow, but it's too big for Youtube. We interviewed a handful of family and friends and had home videos of us as kids in addition to just pictures. It was lovely. Maybe someday I'll get it up.

Everything was absolutely lovely, and just what we wanted. I had been obsessed with weddings my entire life, but suddenly when we got engaged, I wasn't as into the planning as I thought I would be. Even though we had multiple sets of parents helping us financially, we absolutely did not want to spend over $10,000. Realizing the amount of money people pay for weddings began to sicken me. Once we started talking numbers, I became overwhelmed and began thinking of a zillion other things that the money could be spent on. I honestly dealt with sooooo much guilt during the 6 months of planning. Of course I wanted to have a nice day to celebrate and remember, and I knew I would regret it if we went off and did something super cheap that didn't allow our family and friends to participate, but I quickly became frustrated because money and the material aspects of a wedding was not what I wanted it to be about. I didn't want people to leave raving about fancy food or expensive favors. I really just want everyone to always think of how personal everything was. I don't have an exact total of how much everything was altogether, but we have guestimated it, and if it did go over 10,000, it wasn't by much. You don't understand how absolutely proud that makes me. It was difficult, but with a combination of having SO MANY amazing family friends who offered their services for such great prices, and doing pretty much everything else ourself, we pulled it off. Jake and I always laugh because so many people DIY because it's the trendy and cool thing to do, but we HAD to. The thought of wasting money of things you can do yourself makes me literally want to vomit. 

So in conclusion, I love our wedding. Yes it was hot. No it didn't cost $26,000 (which is the average cost of weddings in America). But the wedding was beautiful, fun, and totally us. I honestly wouldn't change a thing. Even if everything had failed, I got to marry the best man God could have ever made for me, and THAT is the most important thing of all. TAKE THAT KIM KARDASHIAN! ;) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Hello, blog world! I've missed you madly! (Karissa here, in case you don't recognize me.) After a long hiatus, I HAVE RETURNED! Except this time with my old ball and chain (see below)

After a month of trying to get access to my old blog ( I was FINALLY able to log in. Then riiiigggghhhtt when I was about to publish a WhatI'veBeenUpTo post, I remembered the new roomie and I had came up with the idea to have a trendy joint married people's blog to keep our family and friends up to date/document all of our fun adventures/get famous!! (50% kidding on the last part) 

So stay tuned, and be patient as we try to get this baby up and running. You will typically be hearing from both of us, but since grades are due tomorrow....i think....the Mr. is preoccupied and I get to do all the talking, which I love! :) Until next time, here is a precious wedding picture to make your heart swell!