when we first got engaged, i had a wedding in Tulum later that month (which was where i *thought* we would be getting engaged) so it was incredible that we had the opportunity to be down in the area and see a few things first hand, which you generally dont get to do when planning a wedding. that week in Tulum was wonderful, i had my birthday there, we road tripped to see our venue in person (and convince CJ the photos online werent fake), check out Merida, where we would bring guests and honeymoon for part, and we were once again in our favorite place in february, which was always a very special time of the year for us (when we met, when we got engaged, trips, etc) so we had a little “engagement-moon” which was so lovely to have time away to start our year of planning together, in a bikini and beer in hand.
one of the first things we did, before really ever planning anything was writing down what was each really important to us, so that we could keep that in mind for each other when planning. here’s what we had.
- Hand written vows, reading them to each other. no limit on length.
- Spend quality time together, at ONE place…everyone on site.
- Dad walking me down the aisle, his speech at the wedding
- Someone important to us being our officiant, leading our ceremony
- Forget time constraints & tradition = DO US! Long dinner & speeches
- Gorgeous photo worthy location & venue
- A photographer I totally trust, amazing portraits
- A dress that is so me
- Use an amazing artist with the food
- Aura of the night being slow and relaxing
- Say my vows to you
- Having immediate family present & close friends
- Dad or someone special to officiate our wedding
- Multiple speeches
- Dinner seating like a group dinner
- Big space for reception
- Music & lighting being welcoming
- Nice tailored white suit
- Events for people to do…
- Soul Food!
ALL WHITE WEDDING
we knew pretty immediate that the aesthetic was so important to us (and photos) and that the aura of the wedding should be beautiful and unique…and so #duh we knew we had to do an All White Wedding (clothes…not people). we’re not big on color or patterns or anything too crazy, so it seemed like all white made perfect sense (call us controlling? we got to choose even what our guests were wearing haha). It would feel sexy and classy. I’m so glad we did this, there was a small fear in my head that “would this turn out like a bad prom?” but i trusted solange and i trusted that my friends would take the reigns and do things right with outfits. for mexico, it was friends only…so we told them to have fun with it, get sexy and go all out. I am obsessed with the white and the aura it brought to the wedding.
the ceremony was equally so super important to us. i didnt want it to be 5 minutes and i did not want it to be run of the mill order. we put a lot of thought into what would be an impacting memory and I adore how things came together.
circle ceremony & readings
i attend weddings for a living, so I’ve had my fair share of ceremonies to see. I’ve taken note over time what really was impacting and specific things couples chose that really impacted the feeling within the ceremony. the biggest rule was: we do not have to do what has been done before, but lets do what feels amazing to us. this aspect took some convincing on CJ’s part….I tend to be the dreamer here…but i know that we both cherish the ceremony and how it went down.
WHAT WE WANTED
- CIRCLE: we chose to have a circle ceremony, so no one was completely staring at the back of our heads the entire ceremony. i do not get this tradition…you never get to see the couples face. so we wanted an intimate feeling that we were all this together = circle ceremony for the win.
- FEELING: some of my favorite weddings are ones that are more relaxed and the guests feel involved. I didnt want people to feel like they couldnt react to things or laugh or talk. we told them we’d cut off their arms if they brought a phone out….we wanted people present.
- WITH YOUR LOVE: we purposefully sat our guests by their spouse, not in a “bridesmaids and groomsmen” section because we wanted the ceremony to impact and inspire their relationship too…not just be about us.
- READINGS: i came up with the idea to have each of our bridal party choose a verse, a note, a poem, a reading or personal advice that has helped them in their own relationships. the people you choose to surround you in your wedding are those you’ll fall back on in trials and be the first to go to in joys…so why shouldnt we hear what has helped them or impacted their own relationships. everyone’s was so different. some brought tears to my eyes, some were totally inappropriate and had us all laughing. it was the best and i feel like everyone was a part of our ceremony, not just bystanders which was so impacting to us.
- FAMILY: in our Palm Springs wedding, we had my gramma (who is beyond special to me) give us a spoken challenge to marriage, it was so important to me that she be involved and in the memory of my wedding. We had our mothers write a letter and speak to the incoming new son or daughter (my mom to CJ and CJ’s mom to me) about why they are blessed, excited and happy that each of us were coming into their family. maybe it sounds a little weird – hey! give me some compliments on why you like me! – but considering you do not always have the love and support of your in-laws (or like them!) and that that was not the case for us…we wanted to take advantage of the fact that they did have beautiful things to say to us, but equally important, hearing why my family loved having CJ now a part of our family and vice verse was so so special to us.
- PRAYER: at the end of our ceremony, our parents surrounded us and CJ’s dad led a beautiful prayer over us as a newly married couple. It as one of the most beautiful memories and I am just so happy that we have such an amazing parent group supporting us.
having someone who knows you intimately, your story and hey! how to pronounce your name (yep, seen that) was important to us and the feeling of having a really personal ceremony. we had two full ceremonies and wanted someone that was going to be in our lives for a long time but also be there to challenge us in the future in our relationship.
CJ’s Dad // he blew this out of the water and did the most beautiful job ever. his opening word was a speech to each one of us that was such a blessing…and the look in between CJ and his dad when he was speaking to him, tears rolling down CJ’s face (which i’ve never seen before) was something I’ll never forget.
Donny // one of our best friends and a very close friend to CJ….and hello, has the voice of an award winning radio DJ. he was there on the first night CJ and I met and *kindly* told us to be quiet (in his boxer briefs) as we were talking on the balcony getting to know each other. Little did i know he and his wife would eventually be such special friends to us….
we arent always setting out to be divas, we didnt think we deserved two whole weddings….but after the news some family would not be able to travel to mexico….we were seriously depressed because we’d already found our dream location. so after some thinkings (and tears on my part…) we decided, who said we have to have one?! lets just mix it up.
planning two destination weddings, and one of them being super remote destination, i will say….is not something i want to do in the next 5 year future. but thanks to my obsession with excel and organization – i was able to plan both of them well and we got to keep our dream location. looking back now…i am so SUPER glad that we did two. our families really hadnt had many opportunities to get to know each other considering all the cities our family lives in…so we wanted one wedding to really give quality time to our families getting to know each other and be in more of the serious life changing wedding day feels.…and then i thank my lucky stars that we got to have my dream come true of a multi-day event in Mexico and it worked out so beautifully that it was friends only and the vibe got to be wild and fun and when i was dancing and my entire top of my dress came off…my dad wasnt 5 feet away. so, all in all….i say 2 weddings FTW – i wouldnt have had it any other way!
slow clap for Carol Hannah. good god i felt like a queen. i went into dress shopping as a formality because i knew i was going to do a custom dress. I wanted to have my hand in the design process and do something truly unique. so i went all over Seattle trying on dresses because #Duh that is super fun shit and i wanted to feel like a bride. however, it reaffirmed that the current lines out there were not for me. i didnt want anything sweet. i didnt want anything matronly. sorry to say it but my explanation to the dress people was…i want to be sex bride….not cutesy bride. i wanted to feel gorgeous and i’ve always been the “why is she so dressed up” girl…so i wasnt looking for anything casual or semi formal. i wanted something i could wear in front of royalty…but not, because it would be too sexy. catch my vibe?
enter NEW YORK + my best friend Tonhya. i had 2 back to back weddings in NY last may, so on one of the days, I planned a bunch of dress appointments and yolo how perfect does wedding dressing shopping in NYC sound? yea…pretty good. Tonhya knows my style and has a great honest opinion so she and i set all over the town and it was by far one of my favorite memories.
i tried on a dress and liked the seams on it…and the gal had said that that designer (Carol Hannah) had a showroom in NY and I should check her out (thank you lady, you’ll never know!) and so we luckily made a same day appointment. however, at another appointment i tried on this amazing silk tuxedo like dress with a slit and my dreams came true (here, called The Bond). i actually teared up, Tonhya did, I FaceTime’d my mom….we added a headpiece on. It was amazing, i had my dress! no need to look further. however, we had an appt at CH after, so we still ended up going…and I’m so glad we did! #obv it was one of the last dresses I tried on…and good god it was made for me. exactly what i wanted and so super super different. i had to have it. being the rational photographers that we both are….we looked at each of the dresses in photos and knew that the Carol Hannah dress just had an insane impact and would be amazing on camera…sadly the other dress (that i still want) was gorgina in person but just didnt translate well over photos and had nowhere near the impact. the decision was REALLY made. then we got to see hanging on a rack, this silk skirt we hadnt seen. it was an addition to my dress. an overskirt! i had literally planned on making this custom for the dress….so it was even further a sign. good lord, it was meant to be.
TAILORING: i was a little nervous about getting my dress altered because the beading was so intricate and i knew it could get ruined easily. luckily a friend designs at Luly Yang and recommended Superb Custom Tailors (on Queen Anne) so i went with it. from the very beginning, i felt so taken care of and loved….Misook, the owner was the cutest thing i’ve ever seen and ended up tailoring so many of my wedding outfits for me. She took in my dress, hemmed it and added an inside belt to keep it up because it was so heavy. if you’re looking for a tailor…and you’re in Seattle you must go to her (and tell her hello!) she did an insane job on a very very difficult dress.
- My wedding shoes were Pelle Moda ‘Kacey’ Ankle Strap Sandal from Nordstrom. i dont even want to say how many damn shoes i looked at and it was the most nightmar’ish thing to buy! I wanted a chunky heel for the grass but ended up getting these and loved them. they were a lower heel and suede, so they were actually really comfortable.
- My dancing shoes were a Topshop shoe from Nordstrom (Reflect Metallic Heel Leather Sandal) that they no longer have on their site. These I wore for the welcome dinner and to dance in and were mucho comfortable.
- My jewelry was simple and minimal. afterall, my dress was the star! My bracelet that i loved was a Baublebar “Benoit” Crystal Bracelet also from Nordstrom.
- And my earrings were ear jacket style diamond pieces from Etsy.
- My clutch was from Asos. and if you know me, you know my nickname is “the bag lady”…so i did want to get a bit nicer bag that I would be able to hopefully use in the future and keep as an heirloom piece. it was originally like $300+ online – and i was like ah, i dont need to spend that – but then I ended up getting it a few days before my wedding on rush delivery for around $100 which i thought was a sign that i needed to buy it.
- HAIR & MAKEUP // I’m basically the worst on this. I’d rather do it myself and I’d rather risk it being less perfect than the anxiety i get when someone else is doing it for me. i just cant. so we came up with a good balance on both. I did my base makeup (covering up my dark circles and doing my own skin & brows & lashes was important to me) but then Gaylin helped finish me off with more professional blending, blush and eyeshadow. And then Tonhya turned out to be a hair god and make my hair dreams come true with my big classic curls and giving me – omg yes – volume. i had intended on wearing a headpiece for mexico and doing my hair differently for both weddings, but i fell in love with the style and wanted to do it again. i kinda wish i also had those head piece photos…but my hair back, kinda makes me look like a boy…so im glad i stuck with the volume and having it down both times. thank god for talented bridesmaids!
I’M SELLING MY DRESS!
yep, i am. it did its job and made my dreams come true but I would love for someone else to feel what I felt wearing it. I have it listed on Still White – if you are in the market for a dress that will blow your mind. Please feel free to email or ask any questions! (Andria@AndriaLindquist.com)
mmmmm. all white on that boy. he had two suits (he is the diva) and it was a shit show getting them nailed down. we had found a TopMan suit jacket earlier in the year that we loved and that had to be it! so he went out to get some custom pants to match. on his last fitting, i went in to see them and they were basically yellow and had the fit of your 79 year old grandpa’s pants. no. those things needed to be barely able to slid on. tight tight and white. so…the days leading up to the wedding, we spent hours running around in the rain going to every suit store in town looking for a white suit or white pants. which in january, in Seattle…i’ll just say..that was near impossible. finally! we went to Zara, and that boy wore $20 on sale beautiful pants for our wedding and found another white suit that he wore in Mexico while we were there. it worked out perfect and he looked like a dime, got them altered literally the day before we flew out and it all worked…i do not, however, suggest leaving it til days before your wedding. no and no.
Beautiful White Bowtie is from April Look // who do any color and have lovely lovely accessories for men. // Shoes are Cole Haan – were super creamy and looked amazing. // I had CJ’s gold ring made custom on Etsy. and then yes he has the David Yurman version in silver to match his outfits and be his ‘travel’ ring from Nordstrom. (once again, my diva).
OUR BRIDAL PARTY
as mentioned before, it was friends only in Mexico. so that means…no parents and well, get down with it. I told my bridesmaids – and i quote – I want each of your husbands to see you and basically want to jump you right there. sexy, tight, oozing yum. that was my vision. they each got to choose their own dress, because i like variety and i didnt want us all matching in some cutesy outfits. but to stick to solid materials (i.e. no lacey things) and think asymmetrical, capes, off the shoulder, something a little unique. they totally came thru.
- Dress: all white and sexy. dont be afraid to have fun.
- Jewelry: all gold. choose one statement piece.
- Hair: big and sexy…do what you want. Nothing too serious or slick.
- Makeup: neutrals, creams, rust and deeper colors. nothing bright, no red and for sure nothing pink!
- Shoes: choose your own…neutrals or nude.
i basically die over these. can i have them tattooed on my back? they totally lived up to the name i gave them “My Baddest Bitches” over the usual “Bridesmaids”
This was a little easier…buy the same suit and shoes and we’re golden. we didnt really think there were enough white suits in the world for each of them to choose their own and CJ was more into the matching so we did an easy 1-2 punch for them and they looked bomb (i think). Suits were from Jack Threads, the shoes are the same above Cole Haan white shoes as CJ and bowties were again, from April Look.
BRIDAL PARTY ROLES
as yo know, the typical “Maid of Honor” does all the planning, showers, bachelorette and all that. I feel like thats really a lot to ask of one girl…so I came up with the idea to just have each girl (or girls) take over one area. Then, hopefully, they didnt feel stressed and end up hating the fact that they were my maid of honor with all that pressure for so many events and got to put effort into one thing and focus on that. Overall, I’m so glad I did this….maybe asking them would be a better idea. but I feel like I got to assign each friend something i knew they were good at and would enjoy planning and go from there.
// my one regret was assigning Tonhya, one of my closest friends, the “help with it all” role…as in, you know me pretty damn well and you can have your hand in whatever you want to help with along the way, as well as just being my right hand gal and being on the receiving end of all my texts and questions thru out the year. however, I would say…because the others had an assigned part…there wasnt really that spot for her to jump in and assist or manage like i had imagined in my head. if i were to go back, i would have just assigned everyone ONE thing because people did end up taking on the planning and all that, and i think she didnt end up getting to help like i know she probably would have liked to – which was my mistake in thinking the “manager” role would be a great idea. it wasnt.
CJ ended up doing the same with with his guys and had certain friends plan certain things….however, there is way less to plan for guys in the wedding year (showers and such) so i think overall it worked really well for him and his guys and people had different roles.
are your eyes bleeding? muahahah not sorry. planning our wedding & now writing all this down seems like DAYUM what a process and so many decisions, but really, it was so spread out and done over a year (but mostly in the last 2 months) so it didnt feel too bad.
what i love most about our wedding(s) was that we got to plan them ourselves. with no influence from family or butting in ideas where they werent wanted. i think those close to me know, i kinda run with my gut and dont really look for 2nd opinions… #woops. so the planning process really got to be between CJ and I and me convincing him….i promise it wont be weird its gonna be amazing, about 97 different topics. i had so much fun planning and watching it come to life, i was able to really enjoy the day and there were so many thing i didnt care about (flowers, cake, traditions) and that really allowed me to put my effort where i wanted.
both of the weddings are so special to us and each so different, i would never ever take back that we had to do two weddings. it was so so worth it.
YOLO I’m not done sharing yet! Next Up on the BLOG is: Design & Aesthetic OR Mexico Planning and Photos…which one do you want!