This coming monday it will be a year since my husband and I were married! My, how time flies! Casey inspired me to share some pictures when she posted her wedding photos from a year ago, so I thought I’d share some of my very favorites.
My absolute best expense with our wedding was our lovely photographer Michael Tyler. He captured beautifully the day of the wedding. Since it’s all relatively a blur now, it’s so wonderful to look back on the photos to solidify all our impressions of the day. I actually just looked on his sites and he included some photos of our wedding! Tee hee!
We got married on the Berkeley- an 1890s ferry at the San Diego Maritime Museum. We wanted somewhere unique and special to our personalities, and we were so thrilled to have it there. It made us happy to be providing a museum with the money instead of a hotel or a place where they just pump out weddings on an assembly line.
I did all the planning myself, with the help occasionally from friends and family. I can honestly say that I now think that wedding planners are worth the expense! Especially if you have lots of family to deal with, which we do- (nearly all our parents have remarried, except for Matt’s dad, so we had LOTS of family!). It’s such a stressful thing, wedding planning, and I truly can say I’m glad it’s over! Phew! But looking back at the wedding, I think it was worth it. I really think it was beautiful- but I know it’s my wedding so I’m supposed to think that 🙂
One of the other things I would do differrently, however, is not make my wedding dress. Oh my goodness, the stress it caused! I would have been much better off having paid someone to do it. By the time I was running out of time it was nearly too late! I looked 6 months ahead of time for a dress to buy, figuring that my “dream dress” was not only unattainable in that amount of time, but too expensive! We decided on an Edwardian theme to our wedding, and I made all my period undergarments- the corset, chemise, drawers, princess slip- and I purchased a wonderful antique petticoat online from Time Travelers with beautiful insertion and rose embroidery. I also bought a beautiful lace collar from them I ended up using in my dress I made- and they have the BEST product and very excellent customer service.
I scoured ebay, vintage shops, vintage expos, etc looking for the dream dress, but none were quite right. I was so exhasperated and I was running out of time- the vintage underwear taking much longer than I thought to make. I finally found a beautiful all lace gown on Ebay from a company liquidiating a midwestern museums collection. It had a lovely silk underdress and it seemed perfect! It was quite pricey, but I figured it was worth the gamble. When it got here it was beyond glorious, but it was very yellowed and the lace neck piece was dissentagrating and the underdress was not strong enough to stand wear. I went to work piecing it apart and drafted a new underdress from the pattern, and sent the lovely lace off to the very talented (though expensive) French Laundry, who are known for their restoration of historic textiles. With three weeks till I got the dress back, and four weeks until the wedding, I set down to business making a new underdress that could be worn alone since I wanted the lace to be detachable- after having survived 100 years I didn’t want to ruin it simply because of a foul move when dancing! After several trips to the garment district and putting some girlfriends to work handsewing with me in my room the night before the wedding, it was finished! Hurrah! And I still think it’s quite beautiful.
The night before the wedding I stayed with my friend Katherine, who was one of my bridesmaids, in a lovely room my dad got for us overlooking the harbour. We had the girls over the night before for last minute sewing, hair setting, nail painting, movie watching, and other silly nonsense. It was a lovely way to spend the night before the wedding, and actually was relaxing. It was a lovely surprise when the WWII ship docked down the way put on a spectacular firework show for the WAVES who were having a convention there. All the gals came back over the next morning for getting ready. Two of my favorite photos are above- My maid of honor, Vanessa, wearing a spectacular gown she made from a Mode Illustree pattern with beautiful insertion lace. She was my sewing partner in crime, and she was so patient to be with me through all my sewing woes leading up to the big day! On the right is one of my best girlfriends, Queenie, in a dress she bought from me that I made. It seems I made it with her in mind, it fits her so well! Queenie was married about a month before I was, so we got to bounce wedding plans off of each other and such. She sewed hooks and eyes on for me until the wee hours, God bless her!
Some of my favorite pictures are of us walking to the ship before the wedding. It was such a wonderful thing to be right across the street, and I just love the shots our photographer took of the old and the new. And all my gals are so beautiful, too!
Inside, my husband and a few friends and family members did last minute prep and decoraction, then he was the one to greet the guests while I hid in the bottom of the ship. I love this photo of some of our good friends and him before the wedding. Some snazzy dressers! Down below I was getting queasy and wasn’t certain why! I wasn’t that nervous, but now I was nervous because I was feeling ill. I found out as soon as we got up top that it was a rather choppy day at sea, and I was getting seasick! Fortunately once up top I was fine, but even while we said our vows on a stage on the boat, we were all rocking back and forth. And we were interrupted during the vows by a large fog horn and announcement from a passing cruise ship! It was so funny! But as soon as the vows were said, the water calmed down and we enjoyed the reception in peace.
Right after the ceremony we went outside on the top deck with our photographer and he took some lovely photos of us together. I just love how obviously happy and in love we are in these photos! My hair was done by the wildly talented Gerardo AcostaMeza- when he was young he remembered doing his grandmother’s hair in a similar style- and he said she was a great beauty during the time our wedding was taking place. He has been my mom’s hairdresser since I was a little girl, and has been mine since college, and his generous wedding gift was doing my hair for me.
For our first dance we decided to do the “Castle Walk”, and Matt watched over and over and over the routine that Fred and Ginger did in their movie devoted to Irene and Vernon Castle. It was so much fun, and everyone was nice enough to clap in time, so it helped us keep beat! We only really practiced a few times before the wedding, and I think I was actually more nervous about the dance than I was about the wedding itself!
Liz is the one with the expressive face in the middle, while everyone else listens. I love this photo of her.
My husband helped host a weekly swing dance in New York when he was living there so had quite the collection of great songs from the 20s to the 40s. He added some earlier songs in there and did all the work ahead of time, supplying the DJ with cds full of early music. Everyone seemed to love how different it was- we especially liked seeing our friends John and Katie dance to WWI era French music, our friends get wild with lindy hop, and everyone dancing slowly and romantically to “Cocktails for Two”, until they realized it was Spike Jones’ wacky verson.
I think my next favorite wedding expense was the flowers. Since the Edwardians were so fond of flowers it really made it look more period. My florist, Black Lotus Designs, was amazing- I brought period references and some photos from magazines of the “feel” I wanted, and she did the rest! She really had an eye for style! I steered away from “wedding colors”, thinking the whole concept too restricting, but I stuck to a color spectrum of blues, greens, purples, peaches, and creme. Soft and romatic, just like the Harrison Fisher portraits of the day. Matt looks so dashing in his wedding suit with the lily of the valley corsage.
Matt is just as particular as I am about clothes. It took him a lot of planning and searching for him to get his whole wardrobe together as well! Here are two of my favorite pictures having to do with his wardrobe. The first is the inside of the jacket he bought for the wedding- when it arrived in the mail he looked in the pocket and the date it was made was September 14th (our wedding day). It was meant to be!
Since it was August on the water in San Diego, and we knew many friends would be coming in vintage or period dress, I thought the best wedding favors would be fans. We ordered these on sale online and got the little silver crosses at a bead store in the garment district. We thought it was a romantic and subtle way to share our faith. Matt found a vintage ticket from the Berkeley online when it was a ferry between Oakland and San Fransisco, and in photoshop, edited it to say our names, and blotted out every date on the card but the 14th, the day we were married. We thought it would be a fun souvenier to have a “ticket” to the historic ship.
I love cake. Actually, anything sweet and baked and bready. When I was looking for wedding cakes the prices were astronomical. On a great wedding blog, Offbeat Bride, I saw someone had a wedding cake buffet instead of one traditional (and expensive) cake. What a great idea! I have so many friends who are dessert nuts like me, and it was so much better to have many amazing cakes than one mediocre one for twice as much! We ordered five cakes from Extraordinary Desserts, a gourmet dessert place in San Diego. And on Monday, we’re going as our one year anniversary date! Why defrost frozen cake when you can get the same one fresh a year later?
Just to prove our non-traditional old fashionedness, our garter toss was actually a sock garter toss, with me removing it from my husbands leg to the dismay of the awaiting stag line. I love how amused we were, and the faces of all the great guys in the background of this picture.
Well, this turned somewhat into a novel! It was so much fun for me to look back and take the time to write down my thoughts. As the last shot, here’s my dad and I at the bar shortly before Matt and I left as husband and wife. It was a nice chat of reflections and some nice advice before starting a new life. And one year later my husband and I are happily in love.