Our Irish Wedding

December 24th, 2012 :: 5 comments :: permalink

It’s only been four months since our wedding in Cork, Ireland, but during the whirlwind of preparation and the butterflies, I had forgotten some of the small details of the day. Looking through our pictures makes it feel like it was just yesterday.

That morning I woke up a stressball, something likely expected by most who know me. I immediately started to clean my room and prepare for it to be taken over by our hair and makeup artists and female guests. The weather was rainy, but there were small peeks of sunshine through the clouds, so I knew the sun was in there somewhere. I secretly prayed that the weather would clear up just long enough for us to say “I do.” Thirty minutes before our ceremony, after almost a full day of rain, the clouds opened up and the sun finally revealed itself.

» Continue Reading «

Wedding Gift Boxes

August 29th, 2012 :: 13 comments :: permalink

Dustin and I are getting married today in the low-key setting of the Ballyvolane House garden near Cork, Ireland. I’ve been asked quite a few times why I chose Ireland…I thought about fibbing and saying Dustin was Irish (the red hair would work in my favor). But the truth is that Dustin is marrying a crazy person.

Ever year we take one big trip. This year I thought “why not mix a vacation in with a wedding…in four months?”

Our immediate family is following us across the Atlantic to be with us on our wedding day, so I really wanted to make them something special from the two of us.

My search for ideas started by looking up boxes on Etsy. I came across some awesomely textured and weathered cigar boxes. Each box was unique in its own way. I knew I wanted to use them as the basis of my gift. Etsy has been our best friend in this whole process. After finding the boxes, I found fabric to line them to give them a vintage suitcase vibe.

I created and hand cut labels for each gift I put into the boxes. If I ever do this process again, perhaps for my sister, I will use simple square labels! I used a needle and thread to attach the labels to ribbons that I wrapped around each gift.

I created stationery with a short activity list and wedding schedule, a medieval map, and a thank you card. Since I only had to put together a few boxes I bought special paper from Neenah Paper.

I started with placing a embroidered handkerchief in the gift box with a label that read “Just in Case”. I kept one handkerchief for myself…just in case. Next, I dropped in a bag of M&M’s customized with our initials and an icon of a tree (from a stamp I originally used for our invitations). Finally, I found the cutest little chocolates that look like sardines. My dad plans to go salmon fishing while he’s in Ireland, so it seemed appropriate.

I finished by adding the stationery and closing the boxes with purple ribbons.

Special thanks go out to our families for coming all the way to Ireland with us. I also appreciate all the well wishes from our friends and extended family. You will be with us in spirit.

The next time we speak, Dustin and I will be married!



Our story so far

July 26th, 2012 :: 8 comments :: permalink

Irish Wedding Invites

May 9th, 2012 :: 20 comments :: permalink

Well…it’s finally happened after almost nine years of dating. We are tying the knot! We originally wanted to elope in March, but after thinking about it for a while, we decided it was important to share the moment with our parents and siblings. In just a few minutes, our idea of eloping transcended the Chicago courthouse and turned into a wedding in Ireland. And, because I’ve never been one for waiting around for things to happen, we decided to do it in August. Rational thought process, I know… (Dustin is fully aware of what he is signing up for). March and April have been a whirlwind of planning and decision making. Within three weeks, we found a wedding planner, venue, and dress and I had narrowed down my ideas for wedding invites.

Maybe it’s because I’m a designer, but I wanted the invites to be a little out of the ordinary. I wanted something organic and textured that would represent a trip to Ireland. I found a person on etsy.com that made the actual invites using wood. Once I found that first piece of the puzzle, the other ideas just kept coming.

I started out by buying most of my supplies from save-on-crafts.com. This store has everything quirky and crafty that you could ever dream of. I bought a large roll of dried moss that was a bright Irish-looking green. It smelled h o r r i b l e! I let it air out for a few days so I wouldn’t gas my family when they opened their invites. Once the smell dissipated, I trimmed and meshed the moss into boxes. If any holes were visible, adding an extra piece of moss quickly blended everything into one cohesive blanket.

When searching through the craft site, I was immediately drawn to this natural roll of fibers. I loved how light and airy it looked and thought it would be a nice added texture to our invite. I cut the fibers into thin strips to hold the invite, rsvp card, and return envelope together.

I was asked a few times from our planner and family members if we had a color theme. I didn’t have one until I found this simple purple yarn that would hold everything tightly together. When I think of Ireland, I picture quiet bright green fields and contrasting blooming flowers. I wanted to send a little piece of that to my immediate family who had no choice but to make the long trip to Ireland, and our extended family that probably wouldn’t be able to make it.

As a personal touch, I sent each person a hand written note stamped with an old oak tree. I enjoyed calligraphy class in college and jumped at a chance to use a dip pen again. It just feels so romantic and meaningful to write a letter in this way.

Once everything was assembled, I wrapped the boxed invitations with brown shipping paper that also fit in nicely into our theme.

I found old postage stamps for a reasonable price on ebay and thought they added nice additional texture to the outsides of the wrapped packages. A few of them were personally selected, for instance the stamp that said San Juan Puerto Rico was picked for my dad. Dustin’s family received a stamp that said Nebraska. We drove far into the suburbs to get the invites hand stamped and got a few weird looks as I took pictures of the process.

Throughout this process I have enjoyed organizing, making mood boards, and finding reasons to use art techniques that I haven’t used in a long time. I even water colored our save-the-date for our families.


We hope no one is offended that we have been keeping this news to ourselves the last couple of months, but we were waiting for our families to get the news and receive their invites first. It is now official though. We are getting married.