I am just eating this wedding by Joee Wong Photography up with a spoon. It’s beyond adorable and such a fun reflection of the couple’s personality. With a subtle school theme executed to perfection – their guests were greeted with creative details around each and every corner. From the bride carrying a book down the aisle instead of a bouquet to report card thank you cards, it’s all as adorable as they come! Click here for more!
From the Bride…For most people, having gone through years of schooling, fall will always be the real New Year. And so it was fitting that on October 1, 2010, Greg and I started a new beginning together, at a heritage house on the university campus where we’d shared our first kiss exactly twelve years prior. We’d always known there was a heritage house on the school grounds, but we’d never been inside. As soon as we toured the Miller Lash House, with its simple but elegant Arts and Crafts architecture, we knew it would be perfect for our small wedding. Once the venue was booked we had our inspiration: school! We wanted the wedding to feel intimate, unique, and fun. Most of all, we wanted to celebrate our friends and family. We’d been together so long anyway that it already felt like we were married, but there was something special about celebrating our relationship with our loved ones. That something special was them. And so every detail was designed to put people at ease, make them grin, and keep the party going.
We started with our Save the Dates and wedding website, which served as the invitation. With only 48 guests, most of whom were our age, we knew e-mail was the easiest way for them to communicate. (The eco-friendly aspect was a bonus!) Designing the website and logo helped us narrow down our wedding colors—bright blue and apple red. The blue came from a chalk animation on the website, and the apple evokes school like no other symbol. We felt the colors would provide cheerful accents among the dark wood of the venue, my bridal whites, and the groom’s soft grey. The groom even made a wedding-day purchase of bright red socks, which was the perfect touch.
Greg is a software engineer, and I am a children’s book agent and editor. Clearly, he is a numbers guy, and I am a letters girl. Since school is where you learn your numbers and letters, we knew designing with these elements would strengthen our school theme. We started with the logo’s nod to binary code and continued from there.
I’m not big on flowers, so I decided to carry a book down the aisle instead. Much more me! Stealing an idea from a Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, I’d punched out circles in the book’s pages, and so my “bouquet” also doubled as a ring holder. Our centerpieces were simple white bowls piled high with Red Delicious apples. Guests who took them home found lotto scratch cards (crossword or Scrabble, in keeping with our theme) underneath the apples.
As our guests arrived, they were instructed to fish out a pinback button from a bucket. Each button had a number on it, written out in letters, Roman numerals, Arabic numerals, or even binary. Later during the cocktail hour, guests had to find their matching number (e.g. “three” might be paired with “III”). It was a great icebreaker, and we loved hearing the stories afterward of our friends struggling to figure out their number and the conversations they ended up having once they met their match. Also set up for the cocktail hour was a school picture station with a white backdrop and a bucket of props, including a dunce cap, diplomas, mortar board cap, and prom corsages.
Our guestbook matched our ring book, but inside we’d pasted pockets with homemade library cards, on which our guests could write their well wishes. At the signing desk, two of our friends acted as our “librarians,” handing out the cards and stamping them with the wedding date when they were returned. Naturally, we used a chalkboard on which to write our seating chart, but for an extra bit of fun (or not, depending on how you feel about math!) guests had to solve a math equation to find out their table number. Inside, jam jars were marked with chalk to display the table numbers; the jars doubled as pencil holders.
At each table setting, each guest had their own little red cahier (for those not in the Canadian school system, this is what we called our exercise books, from the French word for notebook). These cahiers took the most work, but it was worth it! Inside were a crossword puzzle, bingo card, Sudoku puzzle, and Tic-Tac-Toe page. Whichever table solved their crossword first would get to eat first. Since each crossword consisted of clues about the other guests at your table, you had to get talkin’ with your tablemates if you wanted to eat! We played bingo for the kissing game. Instead of the word “bingo,” the word “kiss” was at the top of each bingo card. People had to donate money to get us to call out a bingo piece. Eventually, someone yelled out “Kiss!” when they got a winning combo, we obliged, and proceeds went to a charity that donates books to needy children. The Sudoku and Tic-Tac-Toe puzzles were bonus activity pages in case a guest got bored at any point. (What? At a wedding? Never!)
Marigolds & Onions helped us design a comfort-food menu to warm us up on an Ontario fall evening. They went above and beyond with the food and the details. I was momentarily confused when I saw the menu cards, wondering when I’d made them. Turns out M&O had designed them to match our design suite, secretly clipping our logo and font from our Save the Date e-mail!
The favors were lunch bags sealed with a sticker of our logo. Inside were two Filipino treats and two Dutch treats, so everyone could take home a taste of our parents’ homes. And finally, the thank-you cards were…what else? Report cards! Each one was personalized with such subjects as Advanced Eating. We had a very good class this year.
When we checked out wedding magazines and blogs to help us plan, we knew we didn’t want the themes and inspirations to overtake the wedding and overwhelm us. It’s easy to get carried away with a theme. But it helped to remember that everything should have a purpose. Every detail that reflected the school theme was something that was needed for the party, whether it was to direct guests or get them talking, and most important, it all reflected who we are as a couple. Everyone else seemed inspired, too, as our officiant talked about learning the formula for love and the dinner-hour speeches included graphs, pie charts, and a null hypothesis. Creating many elements of our wedding was so much fun and made us that much more excited for the actual day, when we could see it all come together. Judging from our guests’ feedback, it was the very definition of a celebration.
Wedding Photography: Joee Wong Photography / Photography Assistants: Heidi Lau + Christopher Luk / Venue: Miller Lash House / Officiant: Jeremy Citron / Caterer: Marigolds & Onions / Make-up: Karen Chen Richardson / Hair: Ming Justin Cheung of Puzzle Creations / Wedding Dress: Dessy / Bride’s Shoes: Nina / Bridal Ring: Spence / Groom’s Suit: Gotstyle / Groom’s Ring: Fabuluster