School Days Inspiration

Posted by Ashley at 7:03 PM

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I've always been skeptical about Martha Stewart anything, but I signed up for her Weddings site, and I'm so glad I did!! She features such gorgeous weddings, and today, I found the most perfect little wedding. Minhee and Truman had so many great details, and while Dustin and I are going for more of a literary styled bash, "school days" touches fit into that so well.

All images below were found on, and are not my property. Thanks for sharing the wedding love.

I just love this photo of the bride and groom--so perfect, especially since they met in 4th grade! Dustin and I met in a Shakespeare class, so you can see why I'd be drawn to these kinds of touches.

This is their invitation suite. From MS: "In keeping with the school theme, letterpress invitations, maps and reply cards were printed on vintage notebook paper by Minhee's company, Paper + Cup. Attendance reports asked guests to indicate who was coming. All the components slipped inside a small manilla folder printed with the couple's names and address label peek through the outer envelope." We won't have the funds to pull together such a large, detailed suite, but we've got a DIY surprise (along this same idea) that will knock your geeky socks off. We promise!

Um, LOVE THIS SHOT! A requisite posed shot of the bridal party without being awkward. So completely framable and playful!

And don't you just love their seating card table? I was already planning to use apples as my "seating card," but instead of stickers and graph paper like this:
I'm planning on using tipped pins to attach scraps of paper--reminiscent of those impromptu bookmarks and notes Dustin and I passed in class.

And how's this for a guestbook idea, huh? Guests all scribbled on the flippable chalkboard, had a polaroid snapped of them in front of their message (it's like the coolest photobooth idea, ever!!!!), and placed it in a vintage accountant's ledger:
I mean, how PERFECT is that idea? Too bad the Polaroid is no more. I wonder if someone will make a Polaroid v2.0. (Please???)

Okay, last image, I promise. I just had to share their favors! School supplies in a brown paper bag. Practical and cost effective:

I am completely in love with this wedding. A lot of the details would need to be tweaked--we'd mature some things from 4th grade to classic literature to better reflect who we are as a couple, but considering that we met in school, and are both going to be educators (Dustin as a high school teacher, myself eventually as an American literature professor), incorporating our passions into our wedding decor just seems so natural and easy.

I absolutely LOVE it when I run across a wedding that is just so full of inspiration--but this one has definitely been the one closest to what I'm envisioning (with rustic BBQ and beer currents thrown in!).

Weddings are not Contests.

Posted by Ashley at 10:53 AM

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I read a lot of wedding planning blogs. I'm a regular reader of, and I've subscribed to Martha Stewart's Weddings and The Knot. I occasionally flip through wedding magazines in drugstores, and I've got the planning books.

There are a lot of people out there who have ideas about what weddings should be like. And I'm not sure I agree with most of them.

For instance: today, I read a blog post about engagement rings. I won't mention the source (though it's a widely known one), but the author was talking about the recommended budget for the engagement ring (apparently, it should cost the equivalent of two month's salary). The author was linking to another source, but included on the blog were "charts" of engagement rings. In one box, all the rings a graphic designer could afford, in another, all the rings a lifeguard could afford.

This seems absolutely ridiculous to me. When I knew Dustin was looking at rings, I begged him not to spend too much. He told me how much he spent, but I can't remember the cost! And I don't care to. I just know that Dustin picked out the ring he thought I would love, he gave it to me out of love as a symbol of our love, and the cost wasn't his main concern. When I look at my ring, I'm certainly not thinking about how much he spent on it, or whether or not he was over or under the so-called "two-month" rule. I just know I love my ring, and I love him more.

A couple of weeks ago, another blogger was writing about her problems with nailing down a specific place to honeymoon. At first, I thought I'd be able to relate to this person--Dustin and I are wavering between Germany, Asheville NC, Hawaii, Tahiti, London, and Maine for our honeymoon--and we have new ideas every week it seems. But our indecision is coming from our desire to travel everywhere, and only having 1-2 weeks and a limited budget to do so. This person was debating traveling somewhere because her curly hair might look frizzy in a humid climate.

Now, I'm not judging this blogger--but something has obviously gotten in the way of seeing her honeymoon clearly. Some message about weddings and honeymoon has gotten to her, and it's getting in the way of thinking about a honeymoon as what it should be--a time of togetherness, a time of rest, a time to be in love.

A few years ago, while a friend of mine was planning her wedding, she kept repeating that she wanted her wedding to be the one that people compared all other weddings to. She wanted hers to be the best, the most fun, the one everyone wanted all other weddings to be like.

So often, all the blogs and magazines, and ridiculous TV shows tell us that weddings have to be fairytales. Honeymoons are supposed to be the most romantic week of your life. I'm not a cynic, but I realize that there will probably be a drunk person at my reception. The hem of my dress will get dirty, and the caterer might be late with cold food. In all likelihood, I am going to spill food all over myself. On my honeymoon, I'm going to be too tired to have a wedding night of fireworks, the drinks we're served will give me gas, and we're going to wake up with terrible morning breath. I'm not expecting perfection. I hope I can do as I do every day, and laugh at life's foibles, enjoying them.

Sure, Dustin and I are planning for a wedding that most people won't see as immediately different from all other weddings. We're going to have a first dance, with food and drinks, and probably favors. We're having to consider issues like finances and practicality. But what I hope Dustin and I can achieve with our wedding is to keep it true to us. I hope we don't let our wedding planning get in the way of what it really is--a celebration of our comittment to loving each other. I certainly hope that I'm not using my wedding as a marker of our paychecks, or a popularity contest, or anything else that isn't about celebrating who we are together.