Piping Us In

From socialwave.net

I’m a fan of celtic music.  I started dragging Erin out to celtic music nights years ago, and introduced her to a Scottish singer and guitarist by the name of Peter Daldry.  Peter’s a great guy, and he’s always entertaining to watch.

About a year and a half ago, Erin dragged ME out to a celtic music night on Peter’s birthday.  It just so happened that there was a bag piper there, and he was fantastic!  Erin introduced us and like every other vendor for our wedding, I was certain he was the piper we wanted, to pipe us in and out.

Richard was more than game!  He gave me a great rate, and I’m really excited to have him as a guest as well as a performer.  I can’t wait for you to hear his piping, so here is a link to a video.  :)

Meet the Wedding Party: Bridesmaid Michelle Marovich

This is my favorite picture of Michelle, because she’s fierce and goofy and beautiful.

Michelle is an epic human being.

I met her when Kayla was about 6 months old.  She’s about a year younger than me and we have a ton of interests in common, so we bonded as friends and got rid of the boy who introduced us.

In almost 17 years of friendship, we have watched each other go through good & bad relationships and good & bad jobs, been neighbors, been coworkers, performed on stage together, and encouraged each other throughout.  I  introduced her to her husband, though I didn’t know that’s what I was doing at the time, and I stood with her when she married him, proudly.

Michelle is one of those people who defy brief explanation, though she might disagree.  She is brave, caring and fierce to a fault.  There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for the people in her inner circle – and she is so loyal that she’ll tell you the truth everyone else is afraid to tell you.  She has taught me more than I can ever say about creating boundaries, and she’s often the first person I go to when I don’t know what to do about a sewing problem.

In addition to being a hell of a professional recruiter, she is a marvellous dancer, one of the best moms I have ever seen, a wicked game player, and one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.  You never want to match wits with her, because she will make you feel tiny, and possibly rob you blind while you’re at it.  Oh, and did I mention that she’s a great cook?  There’s freakin’ nothing she can’t do.

I’m lucky to have known Michelle so long.  Her friendship makes me rich and I love her.  You will too, I know it.

Meet the Wedding Party: Groomsman Barry Blackwood

BLACKWOOD-BARRY-1Chris is very lucky that one of his groomsmen is not just his friend, he’s also his dad.

Barry was raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.  He met Sue in a night club in Richmond in the 60s, and he was in love at first sight.  Apparently, it took him a while to win her over, so we can see where Chris learned to play hard to get!

Barry is an amazing, award-winning musician.  He started playing steel guitar, guitar and bass in the 50s professionally, and won semi-final prize money in the American Song Festival in 1974.  I’m proud to point out that Loggins & Messina also had a song in that contest, and didn’t win anything.  😀

In addition to his musical talents, Barry rounds out his artistic portfolio with painting, sculpting and propmaking.  Barry is where Chris learned his craft.  He considers a sculpture of E.T. that he worked on with Sue to be their best work, but I have also seen light sabers that he made back when parts weren’t available, a gorgeous mural he painted on Chris’s bedroom wall, a C3PO costume, and an R2D2 from back before there were kits.

With all this genius and talent, he considers himself pretty average.  I consider Chris a darn lucky guy to have such an amazing dad.

Our Amazing Photographer


There’s this great blog called Offbeat Bride.  I started reading it right after Chris proposed to me, because they have great, nonstandard, nonboring, nontraditional ideas, tips, advice and vendors.

And thanks to Offbeat Bride, we found our awesome photographer who we love so very much and are so lucky to have booked.

Tristan has been shooting pictures forever.  I loved reading about Tristan’s philosophy on the Offbeat Bride post, we loved the website, and Tristan’s eye for composition, color and mood are exactly what we wanted. From our very first meeting with Tristan, we knew we had found Our Photographer.  Tristan was the only one we interviewed, and we signed the contract that night.

I can’t speak highly enough of how professional, reassuring, and positive Tristan is.  I can’t wait to see how our wedding photographs come out, because I just know they’re going to be breathtaking.

Ring around the wedding!

Just a short update, to say that things are falling into place so nicely!

Thanks to Louise, the chalkboards, most of the flowers and a ton more stars are done. Thanks to Rich, the frames for table names are painted. Progress is being made and we don’t have much more to do!

Today, I had my second to last fitting with the seamstress and she pinned the hem of my dress. It’s looking great! I’ll be putting a post about her up soon- she’s brilliant, much like all the other people we get to work with for this wedding. :)

Best of all, we picked up Chris’s ring today. We had fallen in love with a particular ring from the same place that made mine, but when we tried to order it, it was no longer available. Chris was heartbroken, until Michelle, bridesmaid extraordinaire, saved the day by referring us to Shepard Jewellers in Los Gatos.

We took photographs to Jeff and he took about four weeks, but he reproduced the ring and even IMPROVED the design, adding extra flourishes and elegance. It’s gorgeous. Chris is on top of the world!

Just one month to go. Wait, WHAT?!?!?!?!

That's our calendar, alright.

That’s our calendar, alright.

So here we are, with just a month to go till the biggest DIY project in Chris and I’s history.  We are both tired and stressed and I’m more than a little bit anxious, but we’re both feeling that mounting excitement that you feel when you’ve been planning something for two and a half years and it’s finally coming to fruition.

Last night, I dreamt that I really hurt our photographer’s feelings, disappointed a bunch of people, and that Chris turned into an evil tyrant.  Chris slept peacefully and doesn’t remember dreaming.  Apparently, that’s common.  Apparently, I’m a bride.

We have a lot of updates to share.  I’ve got them scheduled for every couple of days so I don’t drive you nuts, but OMG it’s almost here and it’s happening and there’s so much to tell.

In the meantime, there are still a few things to be done, and I’m going to need to start contacting people and asking them to help out on the Big Day.  It looks like I’m going to have some craft days coming up:

  • Sunday, 2 June
  • Sunday, 16 June
  • Saturday, 22 June (oh please god don’t let us need this one)

Please let us know if you’re available to help on craft days.  😀  The sooner we get all the Things Made, the sooner I’ll rest at night.

And here’s the list of things that still need to be done:

  • More flowers
  • More stars.  Always more stars.
  • Frames painted
  • Ribbons tied on jars and vases
  • Table names made
  • Table art framed (after the painted frames dry)
  • Escort cards made
  • Food labels made
  • Chalkboards painted
  • Guestbook cards printed and cut
  • Geez I hope that’s it.

Of course, there are things that Chris and I need to do ourselves, but these are the things people can help with.  :>

Thanks for being with us every step of this journey, and thanks in advance for putting up with our craziness for the next month.  We love you!

Table Runners and Jewelry

Chris has his own sewing machine.  That's so sexy.

Chris has his own sewing machine. That’s so sexy.

Since our location is so beautiful already, we didn’t do much in the way of decorations.  However. the picnic tables everyone will be eating at are possibly TOO rustic, if there’s such a thing.  We decided they needed to be covered, and we focused all our decor thoughts and effort on the tables.

We finished the tablecloths a few weeks ago, and started working on the table runners – each table will have a different plaid as its table runner, and will be named after the family whose tartan is closest to a match.  We’ve acquired and made 9 of the 10, and I’m hunting for one more tartan so we can finish them up.

Also this weekend, because we are so being so productive, we made my jewelry for the wedding!  I had looked and looked and looked for the right jewelry, but couldn’t find anything like what I wanted. Both of us prefer simple jewelry, and I really wanted to bring the emerald from our wedding colors into it.  So, after an exhaustive hunt for just the right swarovski crystals and colored pearls, we made the necklace and earrings.  Thank goodness that’s done.

Here are photos, because photos are fun.  😀




Our cake design

Laurie’s cake design for our wedding.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Laurie is a genius.

At Bryan’s birthday party, she not only brought us MORE cake samples (OMG the ones we chose are so yummy) she also brought us the sketch of our cake.  And it’s beautiful.

She incorporated my plaid (Taylor) and Chris’s plaid (Douglas), heather, thistles, celtic knots and our wedding knot all into a multi-tiered, absolutely gorgeous design.  We didn’t think she could use all those elements without it looking busy – but we CANNOT wait to see this cake for real.

Have I mentioned that Laurie makes cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other things besides weddings? And that she teaches cake decorating classes? And that she’s a really good person?  Feel free to check her out at sweetcelebrations.us – you can’t go wrong with Laurie.


Watson, helping with the table runners

Watson, helping with the table runners

All the wedding blogs tell me how to handle this, and everybody I know had some drama with this, but I’m going to toss tact out the window and be blunt and direct.  I just feel it’s always best that way.

The invitations have been sent, a couple of weeks ago.  We got one back as undeliverable, but I suspect that most people have received them by now.

When we sat down to make our guest list, we were limited by the wierdest thing.  Food.  We’ve been to two weddings now that ran out of food, and Chris and I agreed that our wedding was NOT going to have that problem.  (God I hope we don’t)  So we figured out how many people we could afford to feed and we capped it at that.

Then we added our family. Then we added our very closest circle of friends, excepting those people that we felt would be uninterested or just unable to make the trip. And then we filled the rest of the guest list with people we adore who we thought would want to be invited.

If you were hoping to get invited, or expecting to get invited, but you didn’t get an invitation, it’s probably because we didn’t know you’d be willing or able to come. Just let us know you’re interested.

Our guest list is full, but we know that not everyone we invited will say yes.  As soon as someone says no, we will get you an invitation.  If we didn’t invite you, it’s not because we don’t love you.

In other news, we’re making crafting progress.  We finished all the tablecloths (what an epic effort that was!) and we’re well into table runners.  We have lots of stars (thanks to all the people who have helped with them) to fill vases with, and I’ve got all the beads and gems I need to make my jewelry. The escort card materials are on their way, and my ring has been ordered, though we’re still waiting to hear back about whether Chris’s can be custom-made.

A lot of people have asked what’s left to be done, that they can help with.  Here’s the to-do list as we see it at the moment:

  • Frames need to be spray-painted
  • Once printed, art and table names need to be framed
  • Chalkboard signs need to be painted
  • More paper roses, peonies and fabric roses need to be made
  • Jars need to be decorated with ribbons
  • Escort cards need to be assembled

Every weekend until the wedding is going to be working on stuff, until it’s done.  Truthfully, I really REALLY want to be done with all the things above by BayCon (End of May), so that the last month can be spent catching up on last-minute things we forgot.  I think it’s doable.

If you’d like to help, please shoot me a text, email, or IM.  After this weekend we’ll be having people over whenever they’re available.  If you can’t make the time to help, don’t feel bad.  We’ll be just fine and we love you anyways.

And in advance, I’m going to apologize for the fact that we’re 8 weeks out and our world is about to become Wedding Wedding Wedding as we approach the deadline for the biggest art project we have ever done.  <3


Meet the wedding party: Bridesmaid Erin McGauley

Shamelessly stolen from her Facebook page because I love it so much. Probably photo credit Frank Sarmiento.

Thirteen years ago, I moved to the Silicon Valley and worked with a company called IDT.  While there, I befriended a super-smart techie named Paul, and helped Paul get a job at a startup called Andale.  Six months later, Paul talked me into joining Andale and once I did, I had the opportunity to meet his then-wife, who would come and have dinner with us in the evenings.

Erin and I hit it off instantly. With common interests across the board and similar outlooks on life, we were destined to be friends and it wasn’t long before we felt like we’d always known each other. Erin quickly became one of only a couple people I would trust to babysit Kayla, and we decided to adopt each other as the sisters our parents didn’t have the sense to give us.

Eventually, Paul was out of the picture, but Erin and I were still going strong. She’s a fantastic partner in crime – the kind I can see a concert with, work on art projects with, do heavy lifting with, or plan wicked pranks with.

Erin is the kind of teacher every kid should have twelve of in a life, but is lucky if they get just one. She’s currently teaching second grade, but she has taught everything from kindergarten through eighth. She’s fluent in spanish and english, massacres a little Russian now and then, and loves to dance.  The daughter of an artist and an architect, she’s also got a keen eye for aesthetics and can discuss the finer points of just about any kind of design.

I have been blessed to have Erin’s friendship over the last 13 years, and I’m proud that she’ll be standing up with me.  She’s a truly amazing, kind and wonderful woman you’ll all be lucky to get to know.

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