A Post Wedding Note

Alex and I decided really early on that we wanted to have a simple, community focused wedding. We couldn’t wait to spend our day surrounded by people we loved (a small-er gathering of loved ones, that is). With that in mind, I attempted to design my own invitations, realized how complicated that was going to be, and ended up finding some very simple, beautiful ones on Vistaprint (we also found some there for the reception my parents had for us a week after the wedding in their backyard- cake themed!).

The next step was finding a dress. For some reason, this wasn’t a huge stressor for me. I was casually searching on the internet and not finding much. One day I had to park in a different spot before work, and while killing time, wandered into Anthropologie. The first white dress I saw I loved, I grabbed the first one I could get my hands on, rushed to the dressing room before I had to leave to get to work, realized it was a perfect fit and instantly decided it was perfect. A couple days later, I went back to buy it and didn’t see it anywhere in the store. After chatting with a store associate, she found one in the back (that was my size, hallelujah) and asked what I was going to wear it to. I admitted it was for my small, backyard wedding, and was met with squeals of delight. Apparently, they had all been waiting for someone to find this random summer dress and use it for a wedding! To my surprise, they offered a generous discount in celebration of my wedding day.
 As for hair and makeup, the moment one of my delightful coworkers at my design job in Seattle heard that Alex and I were planning on being married this summer, she offered to gift me a full bridal package. #amazing because I have no talent in that area. We had a fun trial run night with wine and pizza too :)

The random accessories aka my sandals, Alex’s shirt, tie, pants and shoes were a mixture of items we already had and happy surprise finds at American Eagle, of all places.

In researching ordering a flower crown (that was one of the only ‘must haves’ I had), I quickly became aware that the trendiness of wearing a floral accessory had spiked the cost. In the spirit of our simple & personal vision, I decided to try my hand at creating my own. There are SO many tutorials and DIY’s out there….too many in fact. Thankfully, I had a good friend from back in my days working at Grandiflora. After a call over to Colleen, I not only had some tips and tricks, I had an invitation to come up to her workshop in Bellingham, WA to make a crown alongside her! Whaaaaat! A couple days before our wedding, Alex and I drove up to see her. I learned how to make a flower crown, made my own and then got the best surprise!! Colleen casually started making the most magical bridal bouquet, full of wild, wine colored blooms and shooting fronds. Needless to say, it became a wonderful part of our absolutely love fueled day.

Another unforeseen gift came from my mom and sister. A month prior, my sister Olivia had her wedding day, and her veil had been handmade by one of my mom’s close friends. The morning of my wedding day, my mom brought out the veil and we tried it with my dress. It was a lovely combination and very meaningful having been passed down from Olivia and Mikal’s day.
In preparation of the wedding, Alex’s mom had been scouring thrift stores for décor to go along with items I already had around my home. We absolutely loved being surrounded by so many unique items that had come from so many different homes, who knows the stories they secretly held! Since we were having the ceremony in a field next to Alex’s childhood home, and then the reception in his parent’s backyard, there was a lot of hard work put into the yardwork; making our wedding day born out of a labor of love.

In preparation of the wedding day, we were showered with offers of help and encouragement. The day before, we had a couple dear friends (more like family) meet us at Alex’s parents’ house to set up. We hand lettered signs, picked wildflowers in the woods behind the house for centerpieces and met with our pastor/officiant/friend (he was actually the manager at the coffeeshop that Alex and I worked at when we first met). The following morning (after a night of wine and laughter with my darling roommates), two of my JA friends came over for my hair and makeup, the gaggle of roommates made me waffles and mimosas, and we were off! A bunch of absolutely priceless friends met us at Alex’s parent’s house hours before the ceremony and started helping with the manual labor projects. Two of those were some lovely ladies with loads of inspiration. They ended up taking the birch branches I was borrowing as a wedding arch and transforming it into a work of art by adding ferns, branches and other forest foraged pieces. I couldn’t believe it!

As the guests started to arrive, Alex and I took some time to greet them as they strolled down the path, through the woods to the clearing where the ceremony was taking place. I took some time to slip on the turquoise ring that Alex bought me for our first Christmas together and smiled as I soaked in the happy faces of my family and dear friends.

During the ceremony there were some laughs, and some tears. As Alex and I walked away, hand and hand, as husband and wife, we looked up to the house we were walking past, and saw the family crowding around the upstairs window. When our eyes met, their faces broke into the widest smiles and they cheered us on as we walked deeper into the woods. At this point, Alex and I took some pictures together as husband and wife. We had only been married for a handful of moments and we already had so much to be thankful for. Our, truly, out of this world amazing photographer had been with us for each minute of the day. One quality I especially remember was her ability to enhance the joy we were feeling. She would point out special details and happiness was just overflowing through her. I am so very lucky to have had her in my life since we were in high school together. Her gift of traveling here for us from Utah and taking the MOST magical pictures I could have wished for is utterly amazing.

We soon met up with everyone in the backyard for the reception and commenced in connecting with each and every beautiful soul there. We feasted on a potluck of food made from the hands of those very souls, and later, indulged in cake made by the incredibly loving hands of my mom.

We will never completely understand how much hard work each person contributed to our wedding day. I know there were sacrifices made, plane tickets bought from faraway places and tricky schedule rearranging- and I know from the bottom of our hearts, that we feel wholly encompassed in that love.

We couldn’t have asked for a better day, and we can’t wait to give back to everyone who gave so freely to us. Hosting in our new home in Oregon will be one of our favorite ways to spread our love your way. Cooking dinner, pouring wine, fluffing pillows…these are tangible ways we want to give back. Come stay with us soon!

XO, The Finkelson’s

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