Beautiful Day and Happy Weekend

We’re experiencing some crazy, and semi-awesome weather in Chicago right now. The forecast calls for sun and mid-70s for the next week. Completely tolerable! We have plans to relax and maybe hit up a local Farmer’s Market on Saturday. I’m excited for that!

We recently got our wedding pictures back and I have been in love with them. What a great reminder of one of the (if not THE) best days of our lives! Here are some pics that I wanted to share! Have a great weekend, everyone!

ajwed4 ajwed1 ajwed2 ajwed3


DIY: Professing Your Love Via Wooden Signage

When JP and I were deciding on the “feel” of our wedding, we kept coming back to elements that complemented the beautiful apple orchard without overpowering it or forgetting where we were hosting our ceremony and reception.  We had seen several signs posted in Pinterest like here, here, and here that we loved – we loved the cute saying, the DIY element and the rustic feel. And we decided that we wanted this element incorporated into our big day.


and now you know what JP’s real first name is!

The venue, as mentioned before, is in the middle of no-where. It’s about 15 minutes away from the largest “town” in the area and so we thought that having helpful signs to guide our guests to the venue would be wonderful. We also wanted signs to send a message of our big day – as a welcome to our guests and to guide them to where festivities would take place.

clean up crew! wedding this way!

clean up crew! wedding this way!

So, we collected pictures from the internet and JP figured out measurements that we would need and sent an order off to her dad, who kindly agreed to put together some hand-made signs for us made from 2×2 wood.  Not only did he make signs we could stick in the ground, but he also constructed some signs that we could use to lean against walls and decorate the venue.

After he put together the signs, they were delivered to us and we picked out a stain and paint colors for the signs. We chose a darker stain to give it a rustic feel and decided to go with white and yellow paint. The stain was pretty easy to apply – just making sure that the front, back and sides were all fully coated. We used a thick paint brush to apply instead of a rag. It kept our fingers clean and still covered the wood fully.

applying the stain

JP applying the stain

After letting the stain dry, we used some stencil letters we picked up at Joann Fabrics to use to make the “Wedding” and “A & J” signs. We just stenciled around the letter in pencil and filled in with white paint, using a few coats to make sure that it was bright white!



Once we got to our other signs with more of a “message” incorporated to them, we tried to figure out the best way to tackle this – should we print out lettering on cardstock and use that for a fun font or should we just free hand? In the end, we decided to just free-hand as it wouldn’t take as much time/effort and we wouldn’t have to worry about any mistakes or as much drying time that would be needed.  JP did recommend that for the words and symbols where we wanted to use yellow paint, that we should first paint it white and then go over it in the yellow so it pops more. It was barely visible when just going with the yellow on top of the stain. That girl, I’ll tell ya! Genius!

sign with yellow and white lettering

sign with yellow and white lettering

Overall, we’re very happy with the way it all turned out. It was all very personal and some of the signs we can use to decorate our future home.

This officially ends wedding week! I hope you enjoyed the projects I’ve shared, as much as I loved reliving all of the torture joy of creating them!

Wedding Week: Our Wedding Tunes

One of the things that I feel set every wedding I’ve ever been to is the music. It’s a reminder of the couple and their personality, it’s a background to the emotions that are stirring during the day, and it’s a reflection of the couple’s future together. JP and picked our music semi-together. Usually one of us heard a great tune and convinced the other that it would be perfect for some aspect of our big day. We pretty much agreed on every selection and didn’t really change our minds once a decision was made – which freed up time for other big decisions. Here’s what our day sounded like:

Bridesmaid Processional: Phillip Phillips – “Home”

It’s a great “marching” tune and easy for the wedding party to time their walk to. Plus, it has a great message. “Just know you’re not alone, cuz I’m gonna make this place your home.”

Bride Processional: Sleeping at Last – “Turning Page”

We debated to have the version with or without words for awhile and finally settled on the version with words. We thought it was more heartfelt and the message was really sweet. About waiting for that one true love. JP walked out to this with her parents and I followed with my dad. We did hear that the song brought a few people to tears, and I know I definitely ugly-cried half-way down the aisle.

Recessional: Matt Nathanson – “Faster”

We wanted a Kelly Clarkson song because JP is a HUGE Kel-Kel fan. But all of her music is angst-ridden – so nothing appropriate for the joyfulness of a wedding. But JP is also a huge Matt Nathanson fan and I loved his song “Faster,” so it was a perfect happy choice after we said our official “I Dos”.

Parents/Bridesmaid Introductions: Pitbull – “Don’t Stop the Party”

We wanted something super upbeat and to really emit those “party feelings.” Even though I’m not a huge Pitbull fan, you can’t help but tap your foot to this tune. Our parents totally boogied when introduced, so I think this was a great choice to get the smiles rolling!

Grand Entrance/Cake Cutting: Hall and Oates – “You Make My Dreams Come True”

We have a secret love for H & O and wanted something classic and fun. I also love all things 80s – but this was a song we struggled with for a while and then finally settled on this sweet little song. It was great though and played through our introduction and then we immediately cut our cake. Plus, everyone knows this song, right?

Father/Daughter Dance: Paul Simon – “Father/Daughter”

I’m a daddy’s girl and was raised by my father so picking something meaningful was really important to me. You wouldn’t imagine how many inappropriate father/daughter dance suggestions there are out there. Seriously. We’d listen to lyrics and be like … “Noooooo!” immediately. But this is such an easy-dance and good song.

First Dance: Hunter Hayes – “Wanted”

When we first heard this song on the radio, we loved it. I thought at first that it was Rascal Flatts and kinda worried because we both do not really like country music. But when I sent it to JP to listen to the words, she told me she loved it and thought it was perfect to describe our relationship.

Wedding Week: DIY Menus and Other Paper Signs

Our theme font for our wedding was a plain old ‘gal named “Arial”, not to be confused with a red-headed gal with a fin named Ariel. We did all of the print in lowercase – our spin on cute, so everything include our invitations, wedding programs, and signs throughout the wedding were used with this font. In an attempt to match our other paper items that were being made by JP’s sister and mom in Ohio, I stuck to simple signs that reflected the same font and color scheme. That way everything wouldn’t clash with the other paper items throughout the day.

Starting with a blank page in Microsoft Word, I decided to make various signs using a “white” background with gray font (in Arial) and yellow double stripes on the top and bottom of the signs. For the menus, we picked up 99 cent white double-sided frames from Ikea. The signs were 4×6 and vertical. On one side I listed out the menu for the evening and on the other side, I chose to do a quick little “design” with our initials and the date of our wedding.


For the bar menu, memory candle sign, and popcorn sign I did the same thing – but it was changed to horizontal and size 5×7 since we were using different frames. If you’re looking for simple but classic signage – this is a great design to use.


memory sign | courtesy of Jess @ Plucky’s Second Thought

It only takes a few minutes to type out and print – you just have to be careful where you place your lines depending on what your frame looks like. So, you may have to print out a few times to make sure the lines are shown in the glass part of the frame. But otherwise, I was really pleased with them and happy they matched everything else at the wedding!