Being in the business of weddings makes one truly appreciate their own marriage. My husband and I have had so very many ups and downs over the past 10 years, but the fact that we are still here – and going strong – is something that we needed to celebrate! Nearly two years ago when the idea was born (way early, so as not to book myself out for another wedding, you see!) – I asked my husband before bed one night if we could renew our vows…and have a reception to go with. His response (now famous): “Sure, if I can have the hot dog cart!” So the event was born!
I am so very lucky to have wonderful, awesome, amazingly talented colleagues (and friends) who were able to make our 10-year vow renewal fantastical. Without all of them, it would have been impossible. I had the best of the best, which is way more than I could hope for as a quasi-bride.
First, I had a planner. What, you ask? OF COURSE I DID! Planners are the ones who need their own planners the MOST! Jenny Harding of A New Chapter Events jumped in took over my plans seamlessly, making everything truly come together in the time leading up to the event. She also provided childcare (in addition to nanny Hannah!) and petcare, two VERY valuable things when doing an event full of families and one little poochie! I would not have been camera-ready had it not been for the uber-talented hair & makeup skills of Luce Cousineau. She made me feel beautiful, step one in allowing myself to be photographed by none other than…. Paul Joseph Brown, who has photographed many of my weddings and even my family before. He did an amazing job capturing the spirit of the day and all of those that came to celebrate with us. DJ Leslie of Seattle Parties gave our party a great flavor, and hosted the BEST dance party for both the under-5 AND over-30 set. Not an easy feat, and we all wished we could have danced longer into the night! The Invisible Hostess provided all sorts of everything, including bar service, food setup and hostessing – and pulled together my crazy half-catered, half-BBQ catering plan. Thank god for those three girls! AA Party rentals transformed our humble backyard into a fairytale setting – I say that in all seriousness, and steal those words from none other than my husband! It’s magical what a tent, the right linens and lights can do for an outdoor event! My floral partner Susan Snyder (also of S-Scents Design) was kind enough to team up with me and provide the bouquet and boutonniere even though she was on vacation during the event (read: refrigerator magic!). My lovely sister-in-law, Melissa, provided the dreamy angel food cakes (see more on this below) and my brother Jeremy officiated our short, sweet and intimate renewal-of-vows ceremony. Finally, yes – we had a hog dog stand! Dante’s Inferno Dogs, best in the city, provided the always-popular hot dogs. And the rest of the design details….well, you guessed it – that was all my own two hands.
The design of the event was something true to me (and as an extension, Simply Wed) through and through. It formed itself over many months, and became whole when I decided that I liked something, made it, and moved on to the next thing! I’ve been asked many a time by people what my “ideal” event would look like – I suppose this is it, for us! Celebrating 10 years of marriage was something we wanted to keep close to home, intimate, and appropriate for both us and our children. I didn’t worry about what was the latest and greatest, but rather what appealed to me – a lesson I try to teach all of my brides when they are coming up with their own wedding look. Trends are great, but you have to like them if they are going to translate for your wedding! For instance, we chose miniature angel food cakes in lieu of wedding cake. This was inspired by a photo from my original wedding folder that was a detail I couldn’t figure out how to achieve back in the days before I was a planner. Yes, miniature desserts are in – but this was meaningful in a much bigger way for us. Especially since a family member who happens to be extraordinarily skilled at baking provided them for us, baked with love!
Well, that should be enough from me! I just wanted to share my beautiful event in a kick-off of sharing all of Simply Wed’s 2011 season on our blog. Enjoy!! xoxoxo, Kirstie