Quaker marriage certificate

15 May 2012

Several of you expressed interest in the marriage certificate I mentioned designing in this post. I finally had time to snap a photo of it this weekend, so I thought I would explain!

The first special (i.e. non-government issued!) marriage certificate to catch my eye was this one, by Orleans Paperie:

It just stuck in my head! I loved the quote, the layout, and most importantly the sentiment behind it, and quickly decided we would have one for our wedding. Like the one above, I would call ours a modern version of a Quaker marriage certificate. I am not a Quaker, but here is what I understand the symbolism and meaning of these documents to be in their community:

In the Quaker tradition, couples are married at a normal monthly meeting, not at a special service. There is no minister or leader (because Quakers don’t have clergy); Friends believe they are married by God, and declare their intentions before God and those gathered. They believe that the marriage is merely “witnessed” by those present. After, the couple signs a marriage certificate. At the close of worship, all those present at the meeting are also asked to sign the certificate as witnesses. This Wikipedia entry mentions that the certificate is usually hung prominently in the home of the couple as a reminder of the declarations they made, and of the people with whom they shared that moment of their lives.

John and I definitely believe that the guests at our wedding play an active role as witnesses of our promises, and we loved the idea of them physically signing their support to what they witnessed. I do think it will make a beautiful keepsake after the fact, too.

I created our certificate in Illustrator and had it printed at our local FedEx Office, which cost about $15. The finished size is 13 inches by 16 inches.

I mimicked our wedding invitation as much as possible, including the font choices (Burgues Script and IM Fell English, for those who might be wondering!). The calligraphy file with our names was also made for our invitation, by the supremely talented Moya Minns, so consider this a sneak peek!

In case you can’t read the text, here’s what it says:

On the fifteenth of September in the year two thousand twelve, at a ceremony held in the presence of their family, their dearest friends, and God, at the United States Coast Guard Memorial Chapel in New London, Connecticut Emily Armstrong and Mr. John Alexander Thomas declared their marriage vows.

There are spaces for the bride, groom, and officiant to sign, and then there are 100 lines on which our guests will sign. (We’re expecting a few more than 100 guests, but I figured that some might sign as a couple, some might miss it entirely, and most kids are not likely to sign.)

A last sneak peek: It’s kind of hard to see in this photo, but there’s a very light gray wreath illustration behind the signing lines. This was drawn by our invitation designer, Jess, and will feature prominently in our invite suite and other paper pieces!

What do you think?

Inn at Palmetto Bluff: Treehouse

14 May 2012

I’m not quite done telling you about our South Carolina adventure! After we left Beaufort, our next stop was Bluffton, and the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. Y’all, this place is magical. It’s 20,000+ acres of natural, wild beauty set on the May River marshes and interspersed with small pockets of exquisite luxury. We visited for just about 25 hours, but we packed in absolutely as much as we could! I don’t think I’m going to give you the hour by hour recap, but I did want to tell you about a few highlights. One of our favorites? The treehouse!

Isn’t that cool??

In my opinion, what sets a truly luxury resort or hotel apart from just an expensive one is two things:

1) A luxury resort has not just impeccable, but truly friendly and gracious service. No one is snooty, and no question or request is dumb.
2) They also remember to incorporate whimsy. Sometimes this takes the form of a special, unexpected treat, sometimes it’s a purely decorative detail, and sometimes — sometimes, it’s a tree house.

I love that the Inn didn’t forget its youngest, and young at heart, visitors! John and I had a great time exploring this three-story beauty. It had a ramp, a slide, several ladders, winding stairs, several balconies, and an incredible view at the top. AND it had a mini zip line! (Yes, yes we did try it out.)

The tree house was built into a huge old live oak, and the coolest part is that at no point does the tree house structure actually touch the tree – it’s held up by entirely by secondary supports, helping to ensure that the tree will remain healthy for many years. Like everything at the Palmetto Bluff, the tree house was both beautiful and thoughtful!

P.S. More tree houses


11 May 2012

Ladies (and gents – I know you are out there), I have lately been hearing the call to accessorize. The most recent nudge was seeing this article featuring the adorable ladies of Ritzy Bee, but really, this has been going on for at least a few weeks.

Abby Jiu

Oh, hello, most stylish people ever. Also, I would like Ms Kelly’s hair, please and thank you.

I have never been a shoe person, and I have really never been a jewelry person. I wear my engagement ring, pearl studs, a silver link bracelet, and a Dogeared necklace day in and day out, without fail. (In fact, I sleep in everything but the earrings.) Yes, I have a few necklaces hanging in my closet, and a few earrings and bracelets in a bowl in the bathroom, but we’re talking very few. And they’re all pretty much neutral pieces. My clothing budget is so tiny that allocating money on accessories always seemed like kind of a waste to me.

But THEN. I bought a belt. A fairly simple, fairly wide, caramel-colored leather belt. From Old Navy, of all places! I bought this belt kind of on a whim, after I pinned a particular outfit on Pinterest that featured a similar piece. And ladies, the ability this belt has to make an outfit feel put together is nothing short of incredible. White v-neck tee, greige shorts, and Jack Rogers? Basic. White v-neck tee, greige shorts, Jack Rogers, and belt? Instantly super stylish (at least in my easy-to-impress opinion). I don’t know what it is, but it’s sure changed my thinking on accessories. Also bold color and tunic-style tops – see below for evidence:

Clockwise from top left: Trina Turk Suzette dress ($248), from What She Wore 365, Boden Long Island top ($78, but I got it for 15% off and free shipping by Googling for a coupon code – whoo!), Rikshaw Design Classic Kurta ($70), Trina Turk Brecita blouse ($228), Kate Spade Kati cardigan ($298)

Sorry about that, y’all – I don’t usually like to dangle so many expensive and awesome things in front of your (our) eyes, but I couldn’t help myself.

And unfortunately, my budget has not changed alongside my thinking, so the truth is that in all likelihood I will end up purchasing maybe one of the picks below. But I had fun dreaming, and perhaps one piece below will be just what you’ve been looking for to put some pep in your step! I hope so!

A. Kendra Scott Allison earrings ($65), B. Kate Spade bangle ($128), C. Design Darling studs ($32), D. Kendra Scott Cassie bracelet ($130), E. Kendra Scott Carly earrings ($55), F. Trina Turk Sao Paulo sandal ($165), G. Target enamel bangle ($18), H. J.Crew Tessellate necklace ($85), I. Target gold and coral bamboo bracelet set ($14), J. Bridier Baubles Campbell Chandelier earrings ($23), K. Target Gold Square enamel bracelet ($15), L. Target enamel bracelet ($15), M. J.Crew Classic link bracelet ($88)

Tell me: If you could only pick one piece from this post to add to your wardrobe, which one would it be? I am having a VERY hard time choosing between the link bracelet and the coral and turquoise studs…

Backyard bridal shower

8 May 2012

Such fun to have my cupcake flags included in this bridal shower inspiration shoot! A big thank you to Sarah Tucker for asking me to take part. You can see the full feature and all of the vendor credits on The Everygirl right here!

Photos by Naomi Chokr, styling by Sarah Tucker Events

P.S. If you’d like to order your own cupcake flags, I have sets of 25, 50, and 100 available in the shop right now, or you can convo me to request a custom number!