My Wedding


(photo by Jules Bianchi)

Jeff and I got married last August so I thought it’d be fitting to devote this month to a series about our wedding.  I can’t believe it’s been almost a full year since we got married!  Our wedding was probably my biggest undertaking yet, so it seemed appropriate to write about it on this blog.  I spent over a year planning the event and it was full of DIY projects and custom details.  I thought I’d share with you guys all that went into planning the wedding of our dreams.   I threw myself into making lots of fun details including letterpressed invitationsall the signage, the icecream cookie bar, crossword puzzles, trivia cards, giant word search, my veil, bunting, table runners, napkin rings, escort cards and strawsI even sewed my bridesmaid’s gifts!   This series will show you all the details that made our wedding day so special for us.

Jeff and I felt that it was really important to throw a wedding that was unique, fun and memorable for our guests.  An astounding 85% of our guests flew in from out of town so we really wanted to throw a giant party for them.  We were touched that so many friends and family came (235 guests total), we really wanted to go all out for them!  We also wanted our wedding to be very personal and special to us.  We threw out a lot of conventional ideas and chose to do things that were meaningful to us as a couple.   We are known to be fun-loving and little bit quirky and our wedding definitely reflected this: we served bubble tea (my favorite) during cocktail hour and had a ice cream cookie bar (Jeff’s favorite) during the reception. The two flower girls also carried my two favorite carebears down the aisle. (I’ve had these carebears for over 25 years and they sat in special chairs that I made at the front row of the ceremony!)  The most memorable thing that we did, and our guests still talk about it to this day, is that we rode into our outdoor reception on a tandem bike!

I’m happy to say that our wedding truly was everything we hoped for.   I’m still surprised at how we were able to pull it all off, too!  We encountered all sorts of the challenges along the way, the biggest being we were planning this wedding from across the country.  We got married near my Southern CA hometown in Orange County, CA while we were living in Boston at the time.  Adding to the complexity, Jeff was working a summer internship in San Francisco the 3 months right before we got married, so he wasn’t even in either areas either!  Being away from each other during the hectic months right before the wedding didn’t make the planning any easier. I was also juggling two jobs at the time so I don’t know how I was able to get so many things done.  Without the help of our friends and family, I don’t think we could have pulled off such a magnificent event.  To our bridal party and friends who helped and supported us through it all – THANK YOU!  We owe you big time!

I have to give a huge shout out to my parents who, without their generous support, this wedding would not have been possible. Thanks, mom and dad, for giving me the wedding of my dreams. It was everything I wanted since I was a little girl!

Even if you are not planning a wedding yourself, I hope you enjoy this nostalgic journey through a magical day with me.  Here are detailed posts about August 21, 2010: the day I married my best friend Jeff!


  • A New Series: My Wedding

    (photo by Jules Bianchi) Jeff and I got married last August so I thought it’d be fitting to devote this month to a series about our wedding.  I can’t believe it’s been almost a full year since we got married!  Our wedding was probably my biggest undertaking yet, so it seemed appropriate to write about it ...

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  • My Wedding: Wedding Venue wedding_venue

    The first thing that Jeff and I tackled after we settled on a wedding date was to find a wedding venue!  This was probably the most difficult part of planning the whole wedding!  Finding the perfect place to get married was a challenge because I always dreamed of an outdoor southern California wedding ceremony and ...

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  • My Wedding: Bicycle Theme! wedding_invite2

    I really wanted a loose theme for our wedding because it’s kinda fun and a theme helps tie elements together. After thinking about it for months, I finally decided to have a bicycle-themed wedding!! Biking is one of the special hobbies that Jeff and I love doing together. Even though we mesh on so many ...

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  • My Wedding: Our Save the Date Cards! wedding_std

    Bonjourno! Jeff and I are in Florence, Italy right now! We spent the first part of the week in Cinque Terre on the coast and now we are happily spending our days viewing Renaissance art and gorging on gelato. (Florence is known for it’s gelaterias and Jeff mapped out his own “gelato walking tour”- we’ve ...

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  • My Wedding: Invitations, Part 1- My Obession with Letterpress…and My First Bridal Meltdown wedding_invitation

    As a graphic designer, I was very very particular about our printed material.  When it came time to design our invitations, I felt pressure to come up with something awesome!  I felt that I needed to design a fantastic invitation suite that both fit our personalities and wedding style and wowed our guests. I think ...

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  • My Wedding: Invitations, Part 2 – The Full Suite invitation_suite

    Yesterday, I shared the story about how I got our letterpressed invitations made: After my hard (and expensive) lesson of having to get our invitations re-done after my typo, I pulled myself together and set out to design the rest of the suite.   I don’t know if the male half of our recipients cared or noticed, ...

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  • My Wedding: Invitations, Part 3 – Wax Seal Tutorial waxseal1

    Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the look of wax seals. It looks old fashioned yet sophisticated at the same time! I was never allowed to play with wax seals though because it involves matches and lots of hot-sticky-messy-runny wax. Then I discovered hot glue gun sealing wax!  Awesome! It’s a mess-free ...

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  • My Wedding: Invitations, Part 4 – Envelope Liner Tutorial envelopeliner1

    Envelope liners are a small detail but I really wanted to add them into our wedding invitations. I like the look of them! They add a fun pop of color and help protect the contents of envelope a little.  I’m pretty sure the male half of our guests did not notice this detail and probably ...

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  • My Wedding: Invitations, Part 5 – Sending Them Off! invitations_obama

    After I designed the invitation and the rest of the suite, packaged them with a wax seal and lined the envelopes, it was time to send these babies off!! I love the look of elegant calligraphy addressed envelopes, it makes my heart skip whenever I get a beautiful piece of mail.  I am odd like that.  ...

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  • My Wedding: Ceremony Programs wedding_programstitle

    Hello!!  We are back from living la dolce vita in Italy!  We had a fabulous 2 weeks traveling through Cinque Terre, Venice, Florence and Rome!  We were so grateful we got to squeeze in one last trip this summer before we move out west. Now we are back in Boston – back to chaos, frantic ...

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  • My Wedding: Flower Petal Toss wedding_petals1

    Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about having a flower petal toss after our wedding ceremony. It’s just so romantic!! Imagine hundreds of your closest friends and family showering you with rose petals after you just said your vows.  Luckily, our wedding venue Ranchos Las Lomas allowed for flower petal tosses, not ...

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  • My Wedding: Embossed Stickers (tutorial) wedding_embossedstickers

      Yesterday, I shared about the flower petal toss at our wedding. Today’s tutorial is on how to make the embossed stickers I stuck on the front of the flower petal packets.  These were super easy to make, I made hundreds of these stickers and found myself slapping them onto everything!  I used them to close ...

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  • My Wedding: Floral Monograms monogram2

    (Photo by Jules Bianchi) As you can tell from the last couple weeks of posts, I may have been on a little of the crazy side when it came to our wedding. Now that it’s all over, I can admit it, albeit sheepishly, that I was wedding obsessed!   I almost baked 600 cookies for our icecream ...

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  • My Wedding: My Bridal Gown!!! wedding_dress2

    I’m so excited to share with you about my wedding dress!!  Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed about the special white dress I would be wearing on my wedding day.  For this shopaholic, wedding dress shopping was the best part of the whole planning process! I loved trying on all sorts of ...

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  • My Wedding: Socks & Shoes wedding_accesories5

    After the long, agonizing hunt of finding my perfect wedding dress was over, I was off to find the perfect bridal accessories to complete my outfit!!  First on my list, SHOES!   Since Jeff is a good 10 inches taller than me, I needed to find some really high heels.  Otherwise, I look so short and ...

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  • My Wedding: Garter wedding_garter1

    I think the wedding industry purposely jacks up the prices of everything because they know us brides are such suckers!! Slap on “wedding” or “bridal” onto an item and you are guaranteed to spend 3-4 times more than the actual cost.  That’s why I decided to sew my own bridal veil.  Did you know that ...

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  • My Wedding: Jewelry wedding_accesories

    Let’s talk about bridal bling! Jeff surprised me with the Tiffany Novo engagement ring when he proposed. How he knew what my dream diamond ring was, I do not know, but I love it! It’s exactly what I would have picked out for myself – a solitaire cushion cut diamond on a thin band of diamonds. ...

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  • My Wedding: Bouquets and Boutonnières wedding_flowers3

    (photo by Jules Bianchi) My friend L, who is one of the most talented people I know, offered to put together our personal flowers for the wedding.  No small feat considering he lived in Boston, had to ship all his floral tools to LA and work all night in my parents’ kitchen.  He used to work ...

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  • My Wedding: Ceremony Flowers wedding_flowers5

    While my friend L created our bouquets and boutonnières, we hired Larrissa of the award-winning Inviting Occasion to be in charge of the ceremony and reception flowers.  Larrissa is a creative genius!!  I told her I wanted flowers that were bright, colorful and fun and she just “got” my vision and ran with it!! She ...

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  • My Wedding: Reception Flowers & Decor wedding_flowers10

    Larrissa of Inviting Occasion, who created the floral arch masterpiece for our ceremony, also blew us away with how she decorated our reception.  I’ve always wanted an outdoor reception because I thought it’d be so romantic to have everyone dancing and eating under the stars! Rancho Las Lomas, our venue, was already gorgeous with lots ...

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  • My Wedding: Games, Games, Games!! wedding_games2

    Jeff and I really wanted our wedding to be light-hearted, whimsical and fun.   In addition to the bicycle theme, we tried to keep things fun by incorporating some games throughout the wedding.  Jeff and I LOVE playing games!! Our current favorite game is now Monopoly Deal, we can play that game for hours, but we ...

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  • My Wedding: Bubble Tea!! wedding_dessert11

    I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend!! We’ve been adjusting to our new life in San Francisco and busy exploring our new city the past few days.  Jeff starts his new job in a week so we’ve been trying to do as much fun stuff as we can before his job takes over.  ...

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  • My Wedding: Custom Straws Tags! (tutorial) strawtags

    I’ve guest posted about this project on Postcards & Pretties and Wedding Sparrow, but I realized I never posted this custom straw tutorial on my own blog! This little detail was a huge hit at our wedding!  I made buckets of these custom straw tags and had them out at the bar during cocktail hour ...

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  • My Wedding: Escort Cards wedding_decor11

    For our escort cards, I wanted to do something simple and pretty inexpensive.  I know most people will just find their names, find out where they are sitting and then throw the cards away, so I wanted to just do something quick and easy.  Since we had lots of flowing ribbons hanging down from the ...

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  • My Wedding: Photobooth & Guestbook wedding_photobooth2

    Jeff and I jumped on the photobooth bandwagon!   Photobooths are all the rage now, it seems like every wedding has to have one!    My sister had a photoboothat her wedding and it was so much fun!  We wanted to give guests things to do in case they get bored looking at all the ...

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  • My Wedding: Wedding Cake and Cupcakes! wedding_dessert9

    If you haven’t yet figured out by looking at the baking section of my blog, I have a very big sweet tooth.  Once on a trip to NYC, I mapped out my own cupcake walking tour and hit seven bakeries in one afternoon!  Desserts are very, very important to me and so Jeff and I ...

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  • My Wedding: The Cupcake Stand wedding_dessert7

    I have to devote a whole post to our stunning cupcake stand, it is my favorite DIY project for our wedding and I didn’t even make it myself.  The wedding cake and cupcakes display was going to be one of the focal points at our reception so I wanted something nicer than the cheap styrofoam ...

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  • My Wedding: Cookie Bar wedding_dessert4

    (photo by Jules Bianchi) In addition to having cupcakes and a coffee/tea/hot cocoa station, I really, really wanted a cookie bar!   I don’t know why I was so insistent on having a cookie bar, I just really wanted one!  I thought it would be a fun, whimiscal touch.  Cookies have always played a special part in ...

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  • My Wedding: Signage! (tutorial) wedding_decor8

    (photo by Jules Bianchi) Since our venue was a sprawling estate with lots of multi-level terraces, little cottages, courtyards and even a path through the private zoo, I wanted to make sure everything was adequately labeled so that  our guests didn’t get lost!  I hand painted a lot of wooden signs for our wedding!   There was ...

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  • My Wedding: The Flower Children wedding_flowerchildren2

    (photo by Jules Bianchi) I was so delighted to have two of the most adorable little girls as my flower girls!!  One of the perks of being the Children’s Ministry director at my church was that I get to know some of the most adorable children!    I adore these two precious little girls. Their moms ...

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  • We’re in a Bridal Magazine! bridegroommag2

        Pick up the latest issue of Bride and Groom magazine, turn to page 38 and you will find some familiar faces: The author of the article, Cindy Papish Gerber, found me by reading about  our wedding on my blog and asked to interview me for her article on unique wedding entrances.  The piece was about couples ...

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 preparingtofly October 4, 2011 at 9:32 am

I enjoyed reading about your wedding. It sounds like a perfect wedding, a perfect day! I really like all the ideas and details you put into your works!

I wish you and your husband all the best!


2 ilene October 4, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Aww thanks so much!!!


3 Alison January 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm

I love your wedding theme. My fiance and I are thinking of doing the same thing but having a hard time finding a vintage tandem bike. Where did you find yours? Any tips would be great! – Thanks Alison


4 ilene January 25, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Hi Alison! I actually just rented our tandem bike from a bike shop at Huntington Beach. My bridesmaid picked it up and returned it for us!

– ilene 🙂


5 Alison January 26, 2012 at 9:13 am

Thanks!!! I’ll see if there are any East Coast tandem bike rentals.
Where did you find the white bikes you used on the tables? So cute!!!
Ps. Your blog is so inspirational, I just love it 🙂


6 ilene January 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hi Alison!! Thanks for the nice note. I got the white bicycles from The Christmas Tree Shops back in the summer of ’09. Their inventory varies seasonally and I doubt they have them for sale now but it may be worth a shot. I remember I went back to buy more and they were out. I also found similar black bicycles that are meant to be wall mounted so they don’t stand upright at Hobby Lobby. They are similar with one girl bike version and one male bike version but not as dainty. You might be able to spray paint them white though.


7 Ginger March 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm


I stubbled across your website on a Trivia Search and I am so happy I did. Love your website, you make it very simple to get ideas and how you went about creating your work. I will definitely be checking back for more ideas.

Thank you for sharing!


8 Muoi October 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

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for this information! Thanks!


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