I’m just intrigued by all the lovely details in today’s featured wedding. I have just been pouring and pouring over all the images captured by Retrospect Images, and I really had a hard time selecting the ones to feature, they are all so inspiring!
So without further ado let me introduce to you Jennifer & Jasan’s blush pink, green and gold- animal themed wedding. Jennifer graciously supplied all the juicy details of how they met, their wedding planning process, their favorite moments, and some great advice for other brides at the end of the post.
From the Bride, Jennifer:
How did you meet?
Jasan and I met on eHarmony! Really, it is true! We were matched in January of 2011, and we had our first date on February 11, 2011. We each had some not so great on-line dating experiences, but that did not deter either of us from continuing our searches for “the one.” Once we met, we took things slow, and over time, our relationship really blossomed into something very special.
Jasan and I have somewhat unique personal histories. Jasan is a three-time cancer survivor (yes, 3 times). He was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on the left side of his neck when he was just 6 months old. He then had thyroid cancer when he was 15 (possibly caused by the radiation treatment for the neuroblastoma), and a recurrence of the thyroid cancer when he was 21. Thankfully, he has been cancer free for the last 17 years! My mother passed away when I was 12 years old from a rare liver disease.
What were your Wedding Planning, Inspiration and Style?
When we became engaged, the one thing we were certain of was that we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us and our personalities. I really wanted to be married outside in some kind of unique and cozy space. We found the Los Altos History Museum kind of by chance, thanks to a Yelp search for wedding venues in the Palo Alto area. The pictures we saw on-line were beautiful. When we saw it in person, I was sold – I knew this was where we should have our wedding. Thankfully it was available on our first choice of dates, so we booked it pretty much immediately. The venue is lush and wooded, with lots of trees and plants that are absolutely beautiful. I happen to have studied history in college and grad school, so to be married at a history museum was so fitting. Once we booked the venue, we started talking about and imagining the “look and feel” we wanted for the wedding. We talked about things we liked and that we wanted to have at the wedding.
Very early on we decided on our wedding colors – blush pink (my favorite color), dark green (Jasan’s favorite color), and pops of gold. Our save the date and invitation followed the color theme, and set the stage for the look and feel of the wedding. The invitation suite had hearts and arrows on them, and those symbols were carried throughout the decor. I’m fairly crafty by nature, so I was excited to make a lot of decor for our special day. I’m honestly not sure how we came up with the first decor item (the little gold animals that were scattered on the tables, in the centerpieces, and included with the favors), but that is the first decor item we decided on. We found little animal figurines at Diddam’s party supply store, and I thought it would be cute if we spray painted them gold. From there, the animal theme was born and kept growing. (I’m a sucker for cute little animals – there is just something super cute about animal things – I love them!).
We used two Jonathan Adler ceramic giraffes that I’ve had for many years as our cake toppers. My step-mother and I made a little green tie for the “boy” and a little tulle veil for the “girl.” We found animal rubber stamps at Paper Source that we enlarged and printed on card stock to label the tables, with the matching stamp on the escort cards, which I hand wrote. Our favors were animal crackers in cellophane bags tied with pink and white and green and white baker’s twine, along with one of the little gold animal figurines. The paper used for the escort cards and favors was in different shades of pink and green. We found large animal figurines that we used to label the different mini desserts on the cake table. We made little banners for each dessert and tied them around the animals with the baker’s twine from the favors. They were such a hit that a few of them disappeared by the end of the night.
The color theme was carried on in the decor as well. I made a few different buntings with strips of a variety of pink and green fabrics attached to gold ribbon. I made the “Love is Sweet” and “Mr” and “Mrs” buntings out of pink and green felt and fabric attached to gold ribbon. My step-mother made the pink and green cord that lined the aisle, and marked the dessert area. (Since the wedding, she has woven the cord into a basket for us – a great memento from the wedding). She also was instrumental in designing, printing, and folding the fortune teller wedding programs. Jasan’s father made the wooden hearts and arrows carried down the aisle by the flower girls and ring bearer. I painted the sayings onto them. Jasan’s father also built the wooden planter boxes for the centerpieces. I used a wood burning pen to burn our initials into them. All of the pinks and greens in the decor were different shades and hues that complemented each other. We carried this “mismatched” color story into the bridesmaids’ dresses and the groomsmen’s socks and ties. My bridesmaids wore dresses of their choosing in different shades of pink, and we purchased a variety of green ties and pink patterned socks for the groomsmen. Jasan even wore pink underwear! I had my shoes dyed dark kelly green, and Jasan wore pink & green striped socks.
Early on, we talked about the kind of flowers we wanted. We decided on succulents with cut flowers for the bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. We wanted centerpieces that people could take with them, and that wouldn’t die. We loved the idea of something growing and lasting. In fact, Jasan and I propagated and planted all of the succulents for the centerpieces.
We asked our immediate family and wedding party for pictures of them at their weddings. We enlarged the pictures and had them in mismatched white frames with labels of who each person was, the date the picture was taken, and the relation to me and Jasan. We had those displayed around the escort cards.
As you can tell, there were a ton of little details at our wedding – I could literally go on for many more paragraphs about all of them. Every detail was planned by us to be reflective of Jasan and me, and to show our love for our friends and family. Our officiant, Karen, is a good friend of Jasan’s, and we worked closely with her to create a ceremony and vows that were meaningful and personal. From our meetings and conversations and emails with Karen, she melded everything together into the most perfect and meaningful ceremony that was perfectly reflective of us. Jasan and I each wrote some words to share with each other during the ceremony.
Jasan and I also wanted to recognize and acknowledge important people to us that are no longer living. We had a small table with pictures of my mother and grandmother, and Jasan’s grandmother to the side of the altar. My cousin, Mike, gave a reading and said a few emotional words about each of these important women. To have a small piece of my mom with me, I had a heart-shaped piece of tulle from her wedding dress sewn into mine over my heart, a piece of lace from my step-mothers dress, and a tiny blue heart shaped button and pink elephant button that I remember picking out with my mom when I was little. I had a small photo charm made of a picture of my mom and me taken shortly before she passed. And I also wore my mom’s and dad’s wedding rings on my right hand.
What are some of your favorite memories of the day?
Jasan and I absolutely loved every second of our wedding day. One of our favorite moments was just after we arrived at the “altar” and Karen was welcoming guests to the ceremony. We wanted our guests to enjoy the ceremony and be in the moment, so we asked Karen to announce to them before the processional started to please put their cameras and smartphones away. Jasan and I thought it would be funny if we pulled out our phones to take pictures of our guests from our vantage point. So, we both pulled out our phones and turned around and took pictures. It was hilarious, and so very us! We both love our pictures from that vantage point. One of our other favorite parts of the wedding was the photobooth. We like to get silly and creative, and it turns out our guests did too. There were even shirtless guys in the photobooth at several points throughout the night! And, of course another of my favorite moments was when we were pronounced husband and wife. I finally, officially, have my person, my partner, my love. And we sealed that deal with a pretty amazing kiss.
Do You have any advice for other brides?
My advice for other brides:
Be true to their vision. Do not let anyone deter them from doing what they want. It is so hard when so many people are giving input and advice and sharing their opinions. Ultimately, the wedding should be about what the bride and groom want. Jasan and I wanted our guests to be somewhat surprised by the look and feel of the wedding, so we did not share everything with everyone. We kept things to ourselves, sharing only what was needed with those who were helping out with the DIY projects. That way we weren’t exposing our ideas to the unsolicited input of others. We really wanted the day to be special and a surprise for everyone that was attending.
Make a list of everything you want in your wedding, price things out, then adjust to fit with your budget. Make that budget and stick to it. It is so easy to want to keep adding and adding things – they add up VERY quickly. Make a spreadsheet and put every penny on it that you spend on the wedding so you have a realistic picture and running total of dollars spent.
Get a month/day of planner. There is no way Jasan and I could have produced this wedding without our planner. She and her team made our vision happen.
Take some time out at the ceremony to take a step back and really take in the moment. All of your friends and family are there, together, celebrating you! Watch them for a few minutes from afar. It is pretty amazing to see! Enjoy that!
Photographer: Retrospect Images | Reception Venue: Los Altos History Museum | Makeup Artist: A-List Makeup |Cake Designer: Sweet Tooth Confections | Cinema and Video: Thomas Hughes Films | Floral Designer: Three Sisters Flowers & Events | Wedding Dress Designer: Oleg Cassini | Wedding Dress, Veil and Sash(White by Vera Wang): David’s Bridal | Brides Shoes: Stuart Weitzman (dyed green) | Brides Necklace: J.Crew