Tuesday, July 7, 2009

we're famous! kinda...

++ Breaking News : We're the Wedding of the Week on theknot.com! ++

Back in October, a month after the wedding, I was contacted by an editor at The Knot asking permission to feature our wedding in the California edition of their magazine. Umm... yes please! I was so flattered to be picked. Those wedding sites had been such an inspiration to me, it's so fun to now show my ideas. I must say a big thanks to our rockstar photographer Cameron Ingalls, because they are his amazing photos that The Knot (and Southern Weddings) wanted to feature. They gave me a lengthy questionnaire to fill out, and sorry to the editors, I gave quite long-winded responses! (At least I gave them a lot to work with!) We had to wait eight long months to see the issue. But it's on NorCal newsstands now! We were in the Northern California Fall/Winter edition. They sent us copies and it's really fun to see!

Also, our wedding feature lives on The Knot website.

Monday, July 6, 2009

my wedding, chapter 3A - decor details

chapter 3A - the ceremony

The decorations for the ceremony were kept simple and minimal for a few reasons. First, the ceremony took place at a public park on the ocean, so there was a chance things might blow away or get left behind in the grass. I'm no litterbug! Second, this is the shortest part of the evening, so spending a lot of money for something not everyone would notice wasn't my idea of being "cost-conscious". Third, look at that beautiful view! Mother Nature provided a jaw-dropping backdrop, so that's almost decor enough!

All lined up at the rehearsal in the bright sun. Luckily there was a layer of fog the next day so the glare wasn't as intense for the wedding!

I opted for white wood-composite chairs, a step up from regular folding chairs, for their comfort and higher-end look. We used the same chairs at the reception, hiring a few strong men to transfer them. Orange, pink and yellow rose petals defined the isle. The rose heads were purchased at a local farmer's market and my gracious aunts de-petaled them all! Finally, the last elements of decoration were the amazing copper urns flanking each side of the "alter". These large arrangements, by the wonderful ladies at Adornments, grounded and established the focal point. They also made a great frame for photos after the ceremony.

photos © Cameron Ingalls and Kathy Nixon

Thursday, July 2, 2009

my wedding, chapter 2B - food

chapter 2B - cupakes & the big surprise!

I had posted months before the wedding that I wanted cupcakes at the wedding. It seemed to fit the informality of the wedding and it also offered the most bang for the buck. Cakes By Judy, a local baker, was referred to me by my planners. They raved about her baking abilities as well as the affordable price! I had 5 different flavors designated by colored dots on top, all wrapped in dark brown wrappers (ala Sprinkles). I ordered the wrappers online from Confectionery House and I think my obsession with everything coordinating really paid off! The contrast of the brown wrapper on the white stand really made a statement. The stand was purchase from CupcakeTree.com and Gavin's mom generously assembled, painted and edged it with ribbon. It was a masterpiece! I had my grandmother's wedding cake topper on the top tier and the flowers were places by our great florists, Adornments. Oh, and one more piece of wedding day communication was the Cupcake Guide Sign.

Our fun surprise of the evening was the unveiling of the self-serve A&W Rootbeer Float Truck! Gavin's cousin and her husband built this rockin' A&W truck (themselves!) and once they told us about it, we knew we had to have it at our wedding! The best part? The truck matched the wedding colors! Total coincidence. The rootbeer floats were a big hit - enjoyed by all. The side of the truck opened after the cutting of the cake.

photos © Cameron Ingalls

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

my wedding, chapter 2A - food

chapter 2A - appetizers & dinner buffet

I've shown the design for the menu, now it's time to talk about what's on it!

We decided on a buffet dinner from Phoenix Fine Catering since they had so many delicious options to chose from. They provided the china (I specified fun square plates!), glassware, servers... pretty much everything we'd need. For hors d'oeuvres we had to have Crabb Cakes (haha), and added Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, Bruchetta and a Cheese/Cracker/Fruit set-up.

"Crabb" Cakes, photo © Cameron Ingalls

The dinner started with a plated salad at everyone's seat. We had the chef recreate our favorite salad, made up of: Mixed Spring Greens topped with Feta Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts, Dried Cranberries, Mandarin Oranges and a Ginger-Seasame Dressing. The truth is that it probably was a bit too obscure for some people's taste, but it was personal for us and fun to include!
[and I should add, this salad was first introduced to me by my sister - thanks jen!]

The buffet was set up in the barn and even included an in-line carver! We picked a wide variety of foods to satisfy everyone and kept with the modern country theme, picking "upscale" BBQ food. The dinner buffet included: Steamed Summer Vegetables, Waldorf Salad, Green Bean, Walnut & Feta Salad, Penne Pesto Pasta Salad, Santa Maria Style Baked Beans, Grilled Garlic Risotto Cakes, BBQ Tri-Tip Steak with Salsa and Horseradish and Butternut Squash Ravioli. Phew! Lots to choose from! I had a little bit of everything and it was extremely good!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

new web address!

I don't know why I didn't search sooner, but yesterday I searched, found and secured the domain www.crabbcakes.com! Yeehaw! Update your bookmarks (as if there were tons of people that visited this site - ha) and watch this blog grow! The wedding wrap-up will be completed in the next month and more posts relating to life in general (recipes, home improvement projects, cool design stuff) will be heading your way.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

my wedding, chapter 1D - communication

chapter 1D - wedding day communication

These next items are the remaining printed items I designed for the wedding: the Program, Menu, Place Cards and Signs. Some of these were even designed the day before and some put together the night before! Yikes! I definitely realize I'm someone who is very deadline driven, (aka - procrastinator), but I do my best work under pressure. :-)

Ah the program. I made these the week before since the ceremony details hadn't been solidified until then. We printed them out a Kinkos and cut and tied them together the night before the wedding. A butcher block counter works pretty well as a cutting surface in a pinch! Ha! So there I was, I was thinking all was fine and dandy. Midway through tying the program pages together with orange ribbon, my friend noticed something... a misspelling... of my name!! How could that happen! Ha ha. Oh well. I guess everything couldn't be perfect! After the wedding I printed some correct ones so family could have mementos.

Reception stuff: The menu served double-duty not only describing what was offered for the buffet dinner, but also stating our wedding favor. To be eco-friendly and cost-conscious, it was a donation to the American Cancer Society. Both our lives have been affected by the disease, so we felt it was appropriate and meaningful to make that gesture.

I printed the Place Cards at home, trimmed them out, and brought them with me blank to California. Since there were still unknowns about some guests, we (er, my mom) waited until the last minute to write the names on the cards. The seating of everyone was just as fun as it was a task! More on that later! We picked names for the tables from some of our favorite movies. At last, a part of the planning that Gavin enjoyed!

Finally, the last thing designed were some directional signs to be used in and around the restrooms. There was one restroom in the barn, and then a couple nice port-o-potties out back. I say nice cuz they really were! With sinks and mirrors and everything. What's funny is that I never used the restrooms that were available to guests, so I never saw the signs in action! Oh well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

my wedding, chapter 1C - communication

chapter 1C - the invitation set

This by far was the most fun element to design. Fun, also hard. A designer designing for themselves is very challenging, and everyone is expecting great things!

As I picked out more elements for the wedding, it became clear to me that the basic theme of the wedding was Modern Country. The ranch where the reception would be had deer heads on the walls, and you know what, there was nothing I could do about it - so why not embrace it! I started by scouring my font collection for Western-looking fonts. I chose Rosewood Fill as the main headline font, with the classic Adobe Caslon as a compliment.

The whole Invitation set came in 5x7 white envelopes with names and addresses printed by my printer at home. Hand calligraphy was money-wise out of the question, so I picked a semi-calligraphy-looking font named Juergen and added what became the signature flourish detail. I also used the same design for the Return Envelopes.
The design for the Invitation set revolved around the color palette below.

The most formal piece was the actual Invitation card, in light gray, stating the ceremony details. The back of this card was solid brown with the M&G monogram picked up from the STD postcard. The next card you come across is the gold Reception card, containing all the reception info: times, address, directions (map on back), our wedding website URL for more info (registries, hotels) and a little blurb about the Sunday Brunch my parents were hosting the next day. Finally, the third item is the RSVP card and pre-stamped envelope. I had heard such fun stories about the excitement of seeing a little, brightly colored envelope in the mail each day as people responded, so I figured an orange envelope was a fun element to incorporate. (Though it was my parents who got all the joy from seeing the mail each day!) All of these pieces were wrapped up in a stone gray bellyband I printed at home, cut out, folded and taped into the wee hours for a couple nights... ahh, making your own invitations is such a glamorous job!

I had the Invitation card, Reception card, RSVP card and Thank You notes printed digitally at a local printing house. Digital printing is much cheaper than standard off-set printing, and of course much, much cheaper than the drool-wrothy letterpress technique.

invitation photos © Cameron Ingalls