The best and worst part about finding out that I was pregnant in mid-November was that it meant we could use our surprise as the ultimate Christmas gift to our parents. It was so hard to keep it a secret. SO HARD. There were many times that I felt compelled to tell my mom (the person I tell everything to). December was a difficult month for my family. Between a string of health issues in our dogs, unexpected financial burdens, and sad news about a dear friend, the Morris family really deserved a win. I was fairly sure that Baby Espinoza would do the trick, but I just needed Christmas to hurry up so I could break the news and restore hope.
John and I mulled over how we would reveal the news and decided on Artifact Uprising photobooks that we custom designed for both of our families. Each book featured our favorite shots from our wedding day and included a special message on the last page. Over the 40+ days that we kept the secret to ourselves (and a very small handful of family and friends), we would ruminate on how we thought our parents would react. It became our favorite conversation and frankly the only thing keeping me for spilling the beans, at that point.
On Christmas Eve, as John’s parents paged through the book, oohing and ahhing at our wedding photos, my heart was beating out of my chest! I was unbelievably nervous. It turns out that John and our sister and brother-in-law (who were in charge of filming) felt the same exact way. Then finally, as my in-laws turned to the last page, the past month and a half of worrying and stressing and panicking about having a baby melted away. They were THRILLED. It was such a surreal moment! Better than I could have ever imagined!
On Christmas Day, it was time for my parents to open their book. Once again, the nervousness returned and had my heart thumping and my hands shaking. My parents, just like my in-laws, loved the photos in the book. They took their time going from page to page, reminiscing about the memories behind each image. Then the last page…
Total happiness! My parents were shocked and elated. Anyone who has been around my mom for two minutes knows that she was BORN to be a grandma. And I know for fact that my dad will make for an awesome grandpa. Our highly anticipated Christmas gift was finally public knowledge and it felt awesome. Absolutely worth the wait.
Gold-fringed letters spelling out our names were one of the big projects that we wanted to have at our wedding. I knew they would make a huge impact and really bring together all the gold elements strung throughout the reception. But, man! Those babies are time consuming! Just ask my husband, who singlehandedly constructed each and every 3D letter out of cardboard and then added the gold fringe atop them all. He’s a crafting wonder, that kid.
Once all the letters were finally complete (ahem, the day before our wedding), we were at a loss as to how we would keep them all together and upright on top of the patio awning. There were talks of magnets and nails, but all of those seemed like a bit more work than anyone wanted to put in for the 24 hour time period we were working under. Then! My genius maid-of-honor Val, came up with the idea to hot glue each letter to a long sheet of wood. And wouldn’t you know, it worked like a charm! Of course, we had to forgo the hyphen in my name, but that’s nothing new. (Word to the wise: don’t put symbols in your children’s names. Take my word on that.)
This was easily the most time-intensive and tedious project of the entire wedding, but I was obsessed with the end result! They looked especially magical at night when lit up by the market lights. Chalk one up for crafty husbands!
(First and third photos taken by Katie Pritchard Photography.)
There are so many details that go into wedding planning and you don’t even realize it until you are standing in the lumber aisle of Home Depot with your fiance, having a serious conversation over which type of wood would make the best clipboard backings for vows. SO MANY DETAILS. Or maybe that was just us? (Ha!) Either way, I felt like the creative decision making process didn’t end until the wedding was over. It was exhausting, but in the best way possible.
For our vows, we decided to make our own clipboards using thin sheets of wood and bulldog clips. Thanks to my dad’s power tools, cutting the wood down to an appropriate size was easy. Once I had the three pieces cut out (one for me, one for John, and one for our officiant), I applied a single coat of wood stain to each and let them dry.
In the interest of making of our personal vows even more personal, I decided that we would handwrite them out on simple ledger sheets I designed in Illustrator and printed at home. This part was definitely the most time-consuming, but when I look at the clipboards now, I love seeing tangible evidence of our carefully chosen words.
A note on writing your own vows: DO IT. DO IT. DO IT. I promise that it will make your ceremony so much more meaningful, not only to you and your spouse, but to all of your guests as well. In fact, John and I received more compliments on the words we exchanged during our ceremony than we did on any other component of our big day! Our vows were quirky, humorous, and straight from the heart. They were also 100% us. If your wedding allows for personal vows, I highly recommend you seize the opportunity!
I recently had the pleasure of guest designing for Cocoa Daisy’s January kit and had such a blast putting my projects together. It also marked the first time that I worked out of our new home office (setting that place up is a sloooooooow process) and it totally reinvigorated my creativity. You can check out the rest of my projects here!
Last week I had the pleasure of helping style a shoot with Katie Pritchard and Adrienne from The Bloom of Time (among other amazing vendors!) and was lucky enough to walk away with a giant bag of leaves and florals.
Since I had plenty of long stems (that smell like a DREAM) to go around, I decided to shape them into a festive wreath for our front door. I started by taking the largest branches and then wrapping them together with thin wire to reinforce the round shape. Once the base was formed, I added in additional elements, such as the eucalyptus buds and berries.
And that concludes my holiday decor for the season – HA! One of these days we’ll bust out the tree, but for now, I am loving being greeted by this simple, earthy wreath every time I come home.
It’s been a few weeks since last I shared my Capture album spreads, so I’m playing catch-up today!
I’ll let you in on a little secret: normally I make these pages the day before the BG blog post needs to go up and usually with only a few minutes left of daylight to photograph them in. (Procrastination. It’s what I do best.) But since I was going to be MIA from my computer for a few weeks thanks to the wedding, I had to make a bunch of pages in advance. That’s when I came to the realization that it’s so much more satisfying to get things done ahead of schedule! With natural light to spare! Ever since then, I’ve been designing, photographing, and blogging my projects way earlier than before. And it feels goooooood.
You can read all about my pages on my weekly column on the BG blog!
Our Save the Dates are on Oh So Beautiful Paper today! You can see more photos and read about our design process over here! xo
Getting rid of everything in sight is the name of the game these days. It was only fitting that it earned a spot in my Capture album!
Crazy two weeks ahead, but I had to squeeze in a fun Capture spread! This week I focused on the awesome pop-up photography workshop I recently attended and used a clear adhesive pocket to house all of the awesome memorabilia I collected. Easy peasy.
I’m sharing a DIY gold-dipped coaster tutorial over on At Home In Love today! Enjoy!