Minerva The Bride:
I didn’t want a traditional dress & loved the ethereal look and feel of the Saja
dress. I'm not an accessory person, so kept everything simple.
Erik wanted something summery to fit with the LA weather, but also stylish. He couldn't find a suit that fitted perfectly though, so he had one custom-made.
We didn’t want a banquet hall or ballroom - we wanted something with lots of lots of natural elements (e.g. plants, wood, etc) to fit with our style. Elysian
Furthering concept of using natural elements, we wanted to incorporate plants instead of cut flowers. Also, we liked the rustic look of using seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, succulents and air plants to decorate the space. We are big environmentalists, so wanted to minimize waste as much as possible. Guests were invited to snack on centerpieces during the reception and to take home the plants to plant in their gardens. Also as a dietitian, Minerva wanted people to have healthy "snacks" available during the wedding. There were chili peppers, artichokes, nectarines, apples, radishes, basil, mint, carrots - all which came together so beautifully.
Minerva's mom made all of the 1000 paper cranes by herself to wish us good luck; she refused to let anyone help her and made a few everyday; it took her a few months to complete; some friends helped us the day before the wedding the string them together. The cranes winded up becoming our wedding motif, as evidenced on all our stationary.
The Wedding Party
We didn't want the bridal party to match and wanted them to wear something they'd feel comfortable to wear again, so we had every one choose his/her own outfit with some guidelines. Ladies were asked to choose cream/ivory lace dresses; men were asked to wear light grey, flowergirls choose cream/ivory eyelet dresses.
We asked our good friend and former roommate to be the officiant of our wedding. Neither of us are religious, so we avoided anything sectarian and wrote our own vows. We did bring something from our Chinese culture by having a tea ceremony. The tea set is almost a century-old from his paternal Chinese family, the tray is from Erik's maternal Finnish family.
We go to the New Orleans Jazz Fest every year, so we made sure we were able to include a brass band in our budget and it really set the tone for the wedding. Our DJ was also the guitarist in the band.
We love, love, love food. We found a caterer who did not have a set menu and allowed us to customize what we wanted, using seasonal and as much as possible, local sources. We wanted some Asian influences in the cuisine, from the hors d'oeuvres and Asian-Mexican taco station during the coctkail hour to the seated dinner (miso glazed arctic char, bo ssam pork chops, and buckwheat soba noodles with edamame pesto). The desserts were French influenced (Minerva's favorite). Instead of a cake, we opted for a croquembouche, since Minerva loves all choux pastry desserts.
Our photographer was a former flatmate when we all lived in New Zealand. We were thrilled that Nick from Parkershots
would be able to travel from the UK to come to photograph our wedding. He was so professional with us and our guests, we would work with him again for any future events or portraits. Since we already knew and were comfortable with him, smiling was so effortless. He really captured all the happiness and love on that day - from us and our friends and family.
Erik designed and laser cut all the stationery, including the birch invitations (and he hand-painted each one too, which took him roughly 45 min to complete each one), the escort cards, the "Here Comes The Bride" sign, the table numbers. To further reduce waste, we didn't want to mail our Save-the-Date announcements. Instead, Erik created a Save-the-Date animation. The video shows our life together, from meeting at the airport, going to NYU, traveling NZ, moving in together in Harlem, and his proposal during a snowboarding weekend trip (including his lack of snowboarding skills!). We think our save-the-date
is awesome. We also love that we were able to harvest enough honey from our bees to give as favors to our guests. We individually packed the honey in 2oz jars so our guests could travel with the honey in their carry-ons. But we had to check our luggage with all 130 jars, which weighed over 30kg!!