Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Photo Booth

We had an idea that we wanted to do a photo booth at the wedding, specifically to give our guests a fun little activity to spend some time at during the reception.  However, this was something that really didn't come together too well until just before the wedding.

It all started with the gorgeous wedding quilt that my mom made us.  We wanted to display it and do something special with it at the reception.

We also happen to own a GoPro camera that we were able to set up and program to take still images every 10 seconds.  It has a bit of a fish-eye lens to it as well, so it gives a funny picture.

Trying to figure out a way to set it up was a challenge until a very obvious solution dawned on us.  We bought a bamboo garment rack back when we first moved to Seattle because we didn't have any closets. Since we moved into our new place, we've just been storing it down in the garage.  So we set up the rack and then zip tied a long wooden dowl to the top of the rack and then just hung the quilt over the top.  The quilt is big enough for a California King bed, so it has plenty of weight on it.

On a whim, I ordered some paper cut-out glasses from the Little Retreats Etsy Store and I'm so happy we did.  They were adorable and so much fun!  It was fun to see in the pictures which ones were the most popular.

The last piece of the puzzle was a little instructional sign.  We wrote, designed, and printed it ourselves and then placed it in same sign holders that we created out of driftwood gathered on the Washington State coast.

Stay tuned for a post with all of the wonderful photos that we got out of our photo booth!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Our Food

I'm working on another blogging project, Gluten Free Travelette, that I'm hoping to really make something of.  I don't know what my ultimate goal with the project is yet, but I have at least a general concept for it right now.  Anyway, I wanted to do a post about the food at our wedding which was tailored to my food intolerances.  In some ways having an almost entirely gluten and dairy free wedding seemed like a brave move at the time and we are so glad we were brave enough to do it. 

And getting back to the topic at hand, here is the post about our food that I wrote for my other blogging project;

Our wedding was approximately 97% gluten free and 95% dairy free. The majority of our vegetarian dishes were also vegan. So if you ever get married in the Monterey Bay Area and you're looking for a caterer that can accommodate a specialized diet, I would highly recommend Classic Catering in Pacific Grove, California. 

The only items with gluten were the blueberry and applies pies that we bought from The Buttery Bakery  in Santa Cruz, California and the beer we bought from Costco and BevMo. The story with the pies is that we tried to find a local bakery that would make gluten free pie's but we had no luck what-so-ever. And while I was prepared to make a couple of gluten free pies myself the night before the wedding, I certainly wasn't prepared to make 13!  

The only items with dairy were our tray passed apricots stuffed with goat cheese and pistachios, the honey butter to eat with the gluten free corn bread muffins, half of the stuffed portabella mushrooms which had some shredded cheese in them, and both the gluten full and gluten free pies which contained butter. 

I think the corn bread muffins were perhaps my favorite part of the whole meal and I think they were the favorite of the other guests that avoid gluten as well.  When I asked Classic Catering if they could make gluten free corn bread muffins I suggested to them that the mix by Bob's Red Mill is quite good. I don't think they used that mix though, because Classic's corn bread muffins were way better, and I find that impressive.  Gluten free baking from scratch isn't exactly easy to master, so I was very pleasantly surprised by the quality of the corn bread muffins. 

All of the food was truly amazing and we received lots of positive comments from our guests on how yummy it all was.  It's funny though, just like with our flowers the unseasonably cold weather of the year also affected our food.  We were supposed to have persimmon and blueberry skewers but Classic's Chef didn't feel the quality of the persimmons he had were quite worthy.  (Which frankly, I am impressed with because of the level of quality he gave us.) So the skewers became cantaloupe, blueberry, and persimmon skewers. 

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we bought our gluten full blueberry and apple pies from a bakery in Santa Cruz.  But I made 3 gluten free pies after the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding. To make it easy, I premixed the GF flour mix I developed earlier in the year in individual zip lock baggies.  Then I used thawed out gluten free pie crusts from Whole Foods to use as the crust.  I had originally planned on making 2 rhubarb pies and 1 blueberry pie, but I ended up not having enough rhubarb, so I improvised, again, the night before the wedding.  We ended up with 1 rhubarb, 1 rhubarb blueberry, and 1 blueberry. To be totally honest, the rhubarb pies didn't turn out so well and that was probably because I used frozen rhubarb.  The gluten free blueberry pie turned out amazing, but that was with fresh blueberries. To ensure that the gluten free pie made it to the gluten free guests, we gave the caterers little toothpicks tied with navy blue bows to stick in the gluten free pies to identify them.  (The toothpicks were another DIY by the lovely wife of our officiant and our groomsmaid.  

Toasts presented yet another opportunity to try something different to accommodate my specialized diet. Since I'm allergic to grapes, champagne was out of the question. So we ended up ordering a keg of pomegranate cider from Two Rivers Cider in Sacramento, California. It was wonderful as well. 

When we would tell folks that the food at our wedding would be almost entirely gluten and dairy free we got a lot of confused looks.  Sure we only had a couple of folks at our wedding with specialized diets that we knew about, but for anyone that knows anything about eating gluten and dairy free ... you can eat darn well without those ingredients and we wanted all of our guests to know that too! 

I would highly encourage anyone planning a wedding with guests on specialized diets to look for a caterer that can meet your needs.  One caveat to that though, I would encourage you to do a tasting with your caterer of the dishes you plan to serve at the wedding, just to make sure they really understand the special diets you are looking to cater to.  We went to two different caterers for tastings and explained my dietary restrictions prior to the tastings.  Classic obviously impressed us, but the other caterer actually served us dishes that I couldn't eat. So as always, do your research and don't be be afraid to go entirely gluten or dairy free (or anything else for that matter) for your wedding!

Our Photo Display

This project was easy and very quick, once we figured out how to actually put it together. It really only took us one evening to make it.

First, we cut two long strips of burlap and then I sewed pockets at the end of each with opening towards the middle of the display.

Second, we cut and sewed lengths of jute twine in between each of the long strips of burlap.

Third, we cut and painted two wooden dowels and then slid about 5 loops of burlap that I had sewn onto one of the dowels.

Fourth, we slide the ends of the dowels into the top and bottom pockets of the burlap strips. The dowel with the loops of burlap when on the top side of the system.

Fifth, we brought the display down to the wedding and had my maid of honor, Rachel, and my bridesmaid, Sam, pick pictures that we and our parents had collected to display.  We hung the display in a large window that looked out onto the patio we had dinner on, so we were able to double side the pictures!

Overall, I think this was a great project and really made a good conversation piece for all of our guests. I'm happy we did it and I hope someday we can find another use for this display!  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Misc. memory from long ago.

This photo was taken during my first trip down to San Diego to visit Adina after we started dating. As an interesting side note, one of the nights we went out to dinner with her room mate, Cara, and her new boyfriend, Mike. They are also now married!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Burlap and Jute Bunting

Back in August, I mentioned here that I had officially picked up all the supplies for all of the crafts I had committed to doing for the wedding.  And then in September, I had mentioned here that I had cut over 120 triangles of burlap.

And well, here is the final product!  Over 200 feet of burlap and jute bunting!

My mom and I started off the project together when she was out to visit for my shower by cutting all of the individual triangles and then starting to sew them to the jute twine.  It took a darn long while and it was messy!  I didn't realize how much the burlap would shed, it reminded me of short dog hair, like a dalmatian.

The night of the rehearsal dinner we asked our officiant, Geoff, and the groomsman, George, to hang the bunting over the dance floor. They did an amazing and awesome job and they came up with the design all on their own.

One of the best parts was how great it made all of our pictures look during our totally awesome dance party.  But more pictures of that to come later!

Our Invitations

We posted back in June (here and here) about making our invitations ourselves with the help of some amazing family! And rather than taking our own pictures to post here of our final product, we decided to wait for the official photos that our photographer would be taking and boy are we glad we waited!  Check these out!

The story behind our invitations is that when we were looking around for idea and everything we liked was earthy looking and had tree's on it.  So we decided to ask our sister-in-law, an amazing artist, to design some sort of redwood tree for our invitations.  She came up with this beautiful sequoia tree image and the stump you see on our RSVP card. Zeke's brother had them scanned at a high resolution and than our work began.  

We used Apple's pages software to design the images and text, which happened to be called "handwriting". Overall it was really simple to manipulate the images and place things just the way we wanted.

We made a main invitation, a rehearsal dinner invitation, an informational card, and an RSVP post card. 

We purchased all the paper at Paperzone up in Shoreline and bought two colors of card stock, a darker brown and moss green, along with the Green Grocer's Brown Bag Paper. We used our HP Inkjet printer and regular black ink cartridges to print everything and then used a double sided sticky tape to attache the Brown Bag Paper to the card stock. 

We tied a navy blue silk ribbon around all of the pieces and placed them in a Brown Paper Bag envelop with a seal from Paper Source that looked like redwood bark.

Overall, we are so happy that we decided to make the invitations ourselves. They turned out so perfect and so personal, especially because of the efforts of our family. And once we got the process started, it was really fun.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Our Venue: Point Lobos Ridge

The California coastline, especially the northern half, is probably our favorite place in the whole world.  We have so many wonderful memories, including getting engaged, along the coast that it just seemed like a given that we would get married there.

If you followed our wedding planning from the start, we thought we had nailed down a venue pretty early on just north of Santa Cruz, but that did not end up working out... So we went back to the drawing board and ended up searching primarily on (Vacation Rental By Owner) and that's how we found Point Lobos Ridge.

We went up to visit the house, but we weren't actually able to go inside or really go on the property at all.  We just got to look over a fence from a distance.  But with the pictures we had seen on their website, we were sold from the beginning.

And now, after the fact, we're clearly able to say, that we couldn't have had our perfect wedding anywhere else...

Photos by Claire Barrett

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Awesome Photo by our friend Chris Kerr

Well, we got married and it was an awesome and amazing day.  One might call it even call it perfect. Right now we're enjoying not having to plan a wedding and just being married.  We've gone and come back from our mini-moon to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. And we've both gone back to regular working lives.

Obviously we have a lot of posts to make about different parts of the wedding and lots of things to share that maybe not everyone got to see or knew the whole story behind. So be patient with us as we slowly get some posts up.  We'll also wait until we've got our official wedding photos so we can tie it all together with Claire's wonderful photos.

Stay tuned!

Slow-Cooker Sundays: Black Bean Enchiladas

Thanks to one awesome groomsman, we are now the proud owners of a Cuisinart Slow-Cooker, and thus have decided to start a new tradition; Slow-Cooker Sundays!

This week we decided to make the Black Bean Enchilada recipe that I found posted on Apartment Therapy a while ago.

Since the recipe contained cheese we decided to use a couple of varieties of sheeps milk cheeses, a manchego, a gouda, and mitica. We also omitted the peppers, because I just don't like cooked peppers.

Overall, it was a super easy recipe to put together and just forget about for about 4 hours.  However, the enchiladas broke up a lot, so it was hard to actually pull out one individual enchilada at a time. But it still tasted great.  I think we might try this recipe again but next time include some shredded chicken.