Wedding Wednesday: Danielle and Grant Alford #fairytalewedding

I met Danielle Querin eleven years ago when we were both middle schoolers in Palmer, Alaska. After high school flew by we both moved away – I to Florida, and Danielle to Washington. Danielle met her future husband, Grant Alford in Washington State and she became Mrs. Alford on September 8, 2012 and exchanged vows at Saint Josephs Catholic Church in Spokane with all her friends and family in attendance.

Not wanting her bridal excitement to be discouraged by unanticipated problems, Danielle decided to be in complete control from the start and not hire a wedding planner. According to our very organized bride, “The end result was beautiful but the road getting there was bumpy.  Wedding prep can be stressful. Not everything will be perfect along the way but if you keep your mind on the end result and what is really most important throughout it all you will have not only a beautiful wedding, but a beautiful marriage.” alford4

When she first started planning the wedding, she was unsure of how big the budget would be so she chose the colors gold and ivory because even if it was a small, low budget wedding, gold would help make it look classy, elegant, and upscale.

I need to mention that this couple is a huge Disney fan. Of course the first thing is the dress – she choose a strapless custom-made fairytale ball gown style – what other time can a girl get away with one? In addition, the bride’s lace gloves (both gown and gloves were designed and made by Marcella’s) and blonde wavy up-do made her the complete princess package. Her bridesmaids were in lovely beige tone dresses they found on sale at JC Penney’s!alford17

Danielle didn’t want a cookie-cutter cake (pardon the pun) and her cake was anything but.  This unique “cake” pictured here is not edible; it is actually three overturned hat boxes that have been expertly decked out to resemble an enormous gold and ivory three-tiered cake. And the topper – well, nothing less than Cinderella and her Prince would have suited this Disney fan!  And instead of the traditional cutting of the  cake photo,  instead of feeding each other a slice, they had cream puffs.alford13

She also wanted her flowers to be memorable and decided against REAL bouquets  but instead had her lovely gold and ivory rose bridal bouquet was made by aNeMoNe, a paper florist and the centerpieces were made from silk flowers by the creative bride herself. These are truly flowers that won’t die.alford10


The only hiccup in the day was her makeup artist. Danielle recalls “I did not do a trial run and hated my makeup. And on top of that she took an hour longer than expected and threw off the day’s schedule making the videographer and photographer have to wait on me”. Her tip to other brides, “If you are comfortable doing your own make up, do it!  If you are having someone else do it, make sure you do a trial run. No one knows your face and makeup better than yourself.

The couple also wanted the food to be very memorable. After sitting through two tastings, the menu did not feel right until one day at lunch they decided to book Pizza Factory to make personal pizzas for everyone. The (groom’s parents) backyard reception was in a tent of gold and ivory. Many trips to thrift stores provided them with 120 gold plate chargers, wine, water, and champagne glasses along with all the beautiful drapes used throughout the tent.A team of twelve young men from the football team that Grant coaches volunteered to serve the appetizers, salads, pizzas, and beverages – most of the accompanying food came from Costco and her mother in law made the serving jackets for the servers.  Elegant touches such as their logo embroidered gold napkins really helped complete the theme. alford1

Danielle heard that some brides were not hiring videographers but she is so glad she had a videographer in addition to a photographer. I could not agree more – pictures don’t convey the subtle looks exchanged between the couple. This video by Grace Media is beautiful.  Her wedding photographer was Gary Peterson Photography.

If Danielle had gotten her invitations done by Music Box Invites, I think she would have chosen our Great Gatsby ones in gold and ivory, accented by pearls. The song? Why, One Day My Prince will Come, obviously!IMG_3097

Spring, Summer, Fall, or a Winter #Wedding – Choosing the Right Season for your Wedding

Choosing the Right Season for your wedding

     Weddings are, by nature, highly personal events. As such, you want every aspect of your special day to reflect your tastes and personalities. Determining the right season for your wedding is a huge first step that can help focus the rest of your planning, from menus to color schemes, music and invitations.

      Not sure which time of year will suit you best? Considering the pros and cons of each season can help aid your decision.

Yellow Swirl Musical Invitation

Yellow Swirl Musical Invitation

Pros: Your wedding is a new beginning, and springtime is a perfect metaphorical backdrop for this life changing step. New leaves are unfurling and flowers are budding. Temperatures frequently hover in that perfect space between pleasantly warm and refreshingly cool. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables works well for those desiring a fresh, seasonal menu. Spring lends itself to a lighter color palette like pastels and pairs well with soft floral designs and tunes for decorations and invitations.

Cons: With all those fresh blooms comes the biggest downside to spring weddings: allergy season. Spring is also graduation season, which may cause a scheduling conflict for a number of guests. Additionally, the closer you get to summer, the greater your chances are of running into competition for vendors or locations as you approach peak wedding season.

Elegant Beach Musical Invitation

Elegant Beach Musical Invitation

Pros: Summer is popular wedding season for many reasons: long days with plenty of sunlight, beautiful scenery for photos, abundant flowers, and minimal conflicts with school or other holidays. It’s the perfect time for outdoor ceremonies and receptions. It’s also the perfect season for those desiring a destination wedding, as guests might be more willing or able to combine attending your wedding with summer vacation plans. As for color palette and decorative choices, summer is the time to go big or go home. Go wild with vibrant bridesmaids’ dresses and/or colorful blooms. Get playful with your invitations and don’t be afraid to try something unique, colorful, or quirky.

Cons: The days may be long but they are also hot hot hot. Summer heat and humidity can cause flowers to wilt, make up to run, frosting to melt, and guests to sweat like crazy. Bugs are also out in full force, which can make for a miserable reception if you don’t take preventative measures. And, as the peak of wedding season, summer results in higher competition for venues, vendors, and other must haves.

Cherry Blossom Musical Invitation in Autumn Shades

Cherry Blossom Musical Invitation in Autumn Shades

Pros: One word: foliage. Autumn weddings can take advantage of the beautiful back drop of the changing leaves. As with spring, temperatures are cooler but outdoor weddings are still possible, especially early in the season. Fall weddings pair well with down-to-earth décor and earthy or autumnal color palettes. You can even incorporate a bit of nature into invitations by using pressed leaves, or in your decorations by using rustic centerpieces that utilize more branches or leaves than out of season blooms.

Cons: School is back in session which means parents with school aged children, college and grad students may have a more difficult time taking off for your wedding. While the weather can be cool but temperate, you run the risk of having an early cold snap ruin your plans for outdoor festivities.

Cake Musical Invitation in Silver and Pastels

Cake Musical Invitation in Silver and Pastels

Pros: Winter always provides a unique and memorable backdrop, either with stark scenery or snowy landscapes. It’s the perfect season for those desiring more traditional, elegant colors and themes: classic combinations like red, white and black work especially well with a wintery theme. Although holidays can be a con (see below), they can also be a plus for those who wish to embrace the holiday season. Book a reception venue with roaring fireplaces, serve cocoa and give away chestnuts and candy canes. Send out elegantly scripted invitations that play an instrumental version of your favorite carol to get your guests into the seasonal mindset.

Cons: Winter is filled with scheduling conflicts and unpredictable weather. Either your run into scheduling conflicts with major holidays, or your run the risk of having your plans halted or delayed due to snow and ice. While winter landscapes are beautiful, your bridal party might not be willing to freeze in order to get outdoor photos, limiting you to indoor shots. Outdoor receptions are generally out of the question, which means more logistical problems (like preventing the flower girl from running riot through a nice hotel or keeping the cigarette smoke from smoking guests from interfering with the health or wedding experience of the non-smokers).

While it is important to keep the cons in mind, it is most important to pick a season whose pro column matches your needs. Pick the season you love and then do your best to plan for any conflicts or problems. At the end of the day, you’ll be married to the love of your life; isn’t that the most important part?


Adrienne ErinAdrienne Erin is a freelance writer and designer who loves social media, music, and the French language. To see more of her work, follow her on Twitter at @adrienneerin or visit her blog, Design Roast.

Wedding Wednesday: Mariel & Milton’s Fairy Tale #Wedding

 Ceremony and Reception 
© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

Mariel Hernández married the love of her life, Milton Carrero, on May 27, 2012 in Moca, Puerto Rico. They wanted an outdoor wedding that was not at the beach so they chose the beautiful Palacete Los Moreau, a French-style castle turned museum.

As the bride walked down the aisle, she shimmered in her Maggie Sottero gown, underneath which were Badgley Mischka bridal pumps. Not one to wear a traditional veil, her eyes were covered by a whimsical birdcage veilDidi Saldana was able to perfectly capture the hair and makeup look that she desired.


© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

One of their favorite elements were the Wish Lanterns.

At the end of the reception, guests were invited to light up the sky with a wish using White Eco Wish Lanterns. These wish lanterns are made with rice paper on a bamboo frame that will biodegrade soon after landing so that it keeps the beautiful venue green and healthy.

The couple also used biodegradable confetti.



  Guest Favors 
© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

To thank guests for coming, Mariel incorporated her love of fortune cookies into the wedding favors. Inside each takeout box was a colored fortune cookie with the message “As we start our new journey we want to thank you for coming aboard and celebrating with us.” Mariel used her innovation to make the tags on the custom takeout boxes using scrapbooking materials.



 Treasured Moments 
© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

© Glen Weisgerber, 2012

Friends and family who attended were involved in this special day more than once. During the reception they were invited to share their table cards which had the names of places where the couple shared special moments together, like their favorite beach, first kiss, first date, favorite restaurant, and the proposal.

The couple treasured many moments from their wedding, among them- their first night as a married couple at Villa Montaña Beach Resort and a custom music video featuring the couple by Fortaleza Mia Ministry.






Mariel and Milton loved their 24-day Mediterranean Romance Cruise aboard Ms. Nieuw Amsterdam from Holland American Line, followed by three days in Barcelona, Spain!





 Recommended Invitation 

We think that our musical invitation Amethyst Damask would have suited Mariel and Milton’s classy and conscientious wedding nicely.





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