about bliss

Monday, July 23, 2012

daily bliss: diy multi-themed homespun dream wedding

A few days before our wedding, I fretted: "We don't have a unifying theme! We have beach, DIY, vintage, homemade, literary, local...what would the magazines and blogs say?" My family and friends assured me that our amalgamation of themes would be united by love.

And they were right. It is also no surprise to anyone who knows me that our wedding themes were several. I am, after all, the same person who begrudgingly gave up art classes in high school to add a foreign language, along with my other elective, orchestra. I am, after all, the same person whose professional development plan at work includes creative writing across the genres, scholarship of teaching and learning, undergraduate research, and dibble-dabbles into literary analysis. I am the same person who would go back to school in an instant, and study geology, art history, gastronomy, gender studies, history, creative writing, yoga, AND enology...

So, yes, multiple themes. United by pink, and love.

We made so much ourselves, from the invitations and programs (glued onto craft sticks, doubling as fans, genius for a 90 degree day), to the endless cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies, folded into glassine bags sealed with our custom, homemade labels. We designed and printed signs for every table, named after authors, and made library cards for escort cards, stowed in a vintage library drawer. We commissioned not one but two original poems from poet friends, to be read in our wedding ceremony.

I took a letterpress printing workshop at the Hamilton Woodtype Museum and created signs for our wedding in our favorite colors.

We purchased beautiful flowers from local farmers, and my best women and I filled (borrowed) blue mason jars, twisted corsages and boutonnieres, and hand-tied bouquets.

We selected and purchased our own beers, favorite microbrews from Wisconsin and Michigan (New Glarus Moon Man and New Holland Full Circle, respectively). And we sampled and selected wines, including the delicious Michigan sparkling wine from L. Mawby (Sandpiper, with custom labels made just for us).

On the days leading up to the wedding, we worked together, my best women and best men, family and friends, to piece everything together, from setting up chairs and decorating the outside of the royal restroom, to decorating the tables and frosting the cupcakes, to crafting and assembling a birch wood arch.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a village to throw a DIY, multi-themed, original wedding celebration.

And some of my favorite memories, just over a week later, are those moments of creation and preparation, the deep connections made while picking up flowers and wandering hardware stores in search of galvanized tubs for icing wine. I will cherish those moments, hours, days, weeks, and months for a lifetime, as I remember all of those family and friends, but especially my Mom, Dad, Groom, Brother, and Brother's girlfriend K, who tirelessly and joyfully worked by my side to make a beautiful, amazing day to cherish.

photo credits: RM, SG, LP


  1. Rebecca10:19 PM

    It was a truly perfect blend of everything marvelous-- literary, savory, sweet, salty, sandy, vintage, new. Also, let's admire your chutzpah-- commissioning homemade poems from two poets! Thanks for the opportunity to share in the event.

  2. A perfect day for two multifaceted people! Thanks for giving a little window for your virtual friends to peek through. I see beauty and happiness from this vantage point. Best wishes to you both for many years of shared daily bliss!

  3. cara pumphrey miller9:52 AM

    wonderful, jessica! i love the photos. it looks and sounds like it was truly a blissful, memorable time. i'm so happy for you! :)

  4. It was beautiful, Jessica, and so true to both of your generous, kind, and loving spirits. I'm so glad to have been there!!

  5. “We don't have a unifying theme! We have beach, DIY, vintage, homemade, literary, local...”— This is a statement, Dharmagirl. It sounds like you had everything to add up to your wedding. They all have twisted characteristic, but go well together. It must be the combination of creative mind and, of course, love.