Posted by Shira Savada, Real Weddings Editor
In addition to the great story about Jen and Ray’s wedding in our current issue, I thought it’d be nice to follow up with the happy couple after their big day and share some post-wedding reflections, tips, and behind-the-scenes. The wedding photos below are from the couple's wedding photographer, Eva Ng.
So first, the favorite memories. Both bride and groom couldn't pick just one, so here are their top two:
The dancing is Jen’s favorite part of weddings, so it’s not surprising that some of her most memorable moments took place on the dance floor. “Ray loves Elvis so we decided to dance to ‘Love Me’ the one that starts 'Treat me like a fool...' It wasn't your typical dance song but when we first started dating and it was playing, I said 'If we ever get married, this should be our song' (then I shook my head to myself, not believing I had said something like that so soon in our relationship!)"
Jen also loved the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance.
"Dancing with my dad is always a challenge for me because I'm not so
good at letting my partner lead. Dad and I had practiced so I was able
to let him lead and it was fun! Watching Ray and his mom dance was also
very special to me. His mom lives in Oregon, so they don't get to see
each other very often. They danced to an Elvis song also, ‘Memories’; Ray's dad passed away
about 10 years ago, so the dance seemed like a nice memory of him
between Maria and Ray."
And for Ray, it was during the ceremony. "We were holding hands when David (our
friend who married us) was reading and Jen couldn't stop giggling—nothing was funny but, Jen just laughs when she’s nervous, and she was
nervous with so many people looking at her! She actually had to close
her eyes and put her head down so she could stop herself which made me
start giggling a bit."
And right afterwards: "Just after the ceremony we walked back down the aisle and went
behind the trellis fence that was separating the ceremony from the
hotel guests in the pool, and everyone at the pool began clapping when we
hugged. It was really sweet!"
I also asked for fun behind-the-scenes info from her planning process that we couldn’t squeeze in to the magazine. She said that making all the wedding party gifts was really fun. She started about 8 months before the wedding and continued until just before the big day! Each bridesmaid got a pair of socks, the groomsmen received hats in their favorite sports team colors, her mom got placemats, her step mom a silk scarf, her mother-in-law got embroidered pillowcases, her dad a wool blanket, their "reverend" (a friend of Jen's from junior high) a yoga mat bag, and the most rewarding gift she made was an old guitar strap that she recovered with fabric for her step dad, who played the ceremony music. Not only were the gifts fun to make, but they were all warmly received!
And one of my favorite details of the wedding was the magnets Jen made because they were multi-purpose. Each magnet had the initial of the first name of the guest and was color-coded to signify their meal. Jen says, “Last Christmas, before we had picked a date, chosen a venue
or done anything besides get engaged, I thought that magnets would be a good idea for favors. The original idea was to make the magnet match the napkin fabric but, after we did the meal tasting and figured out we had to have a method to alert the servers, the color-coded magnet idea was born. We used green and orange, of course and the colors were as follows:
green with white upper case letter - filet
orange with white upper caseletter - chicken
white with green upper case letter - mahi mahi
white with orange upper case letter - vegetable wellington
white with orange lower case letter - children's meal
In planning her wedding, Jen’s tip for all you brides-to-be out
there is to hire a wedding coordinator! “Our wedding coordinator,
Brooke from Details Details along with my friend Brooke Reynolds,
who designed our invitations and all other paper goods for the wedding,
were the reason that our wedding went as smoothly as it did. As far as
I know, there were no issues at all throughout the day and I certainly
didn't notice anything that was out of place." Another piece of advice: “Don't sweat the small stuff! You can plan
and plan and plan with all your vendors and sometimes things may not be
just as you thought. Your guests are probably not going to notice if
the centerpieces are a bit shorter than you wanted or if the vase that
holds the flowers is square instead of round. They are there to see
Another brilliant idea came after the wedding. Jen and her sister, Joelle, used all of the napkins from
the wedding to make a beautiful color wheel quilt from Joelle’s new
book, Last Minute Patchwork & Quilted Gifts. Check it out at the Purl blog.