[engaged in the d] Bride on Bride – Part Two

Bride on Bride: Patriarchy, Bride Culture, and Space to Be Queer
Part Two

Engaged in the D blog post by Katherine [Read Part One]

…So we had to find other ways to plan our wedding, ways that didn’t require us to designate one partner as the bride and the other as secondary. We had to try to figure out how to play to our individual strengths while supporting each other and checking in with each other. Because we both identify as “brides” and neither of us feels like a “groom”, this might have been easier for us than for some straight couples. I’m not actually sure. Like I said, I’ve never gotten married before.

We’ve been taking on individual tasks where we can, doing a lot together, and trying to be honest about what we are capable of. I’ve heard it said that nothing will test the staying power of your relationship quite like planning a wedding, and that might be true. I’ll be honest – it isn’t all lovey-dovey. We’ve certainly had our share of disagreements. We try to remember that our wedding, like our marriage, isn’t something one person is doing and the other is going along with. It’s something we are doing together. It should reflect that.

That doesn’t mean that we both have to do every single thing. For example, Chelsea gets kind of freaked out by numbers, and I get kind of freaked out by making phone calls. One of our first agreements about the wedding was that she is in charge of calling people, and I’m in charge of drawing up the budget. Sometimes I’m a bit more planning-oriented than she is, which means that often times I’ve been the one bringing ideas to the table, and then we make decisions together. But it’s not exclusively like that, and I don’t make decisions about the wedding without her, or vice versa. I won’t sign up for any site that offers me a “community of other brides” and asks me to list us as “Katherine” first and “and her partner Chelsea” second. It may seem like a little thing, but language matters.

• •

It feels particularly important because we are trying to do this whole getting married thing as ethically as possible. One of our biggest values as a couple is being in an egalitarian partnership, and one of the best things about our particular egalitarian partnership (we’ve both said this, at various points) is that we help to push each other to live according to our values. So when we discussed the possibility of hiring a caterer, we needed to talk to each other about what our ethical requirements would be for that (local business? locally sourced ingredients? plant-based foods? where is it ok to compromise and where is compromise off the table?) and how that would play out before we could look into any specific options. We aren’t either of us perfect, and our wedding won’t be perfect either.

But for it to be the best that it can be, we need to be doing it together.

 • •

Readers: Are you and your fiancé/e splitting up the wedding planning tasks? If so, how?

How to select the perfect wines for your wedding [Interview with Vino Dream]

I was so excited when Meg Pouncy contacted me about her wine business! One of the best things about blogging is that I’ve connected with amazing women who have started their own businesses. Meg owns Vino Dream, a wine pairing and event company in Detroit!

How did you get started as a sommelier and what is the story behind Vino Dream?

I was working in San Francisco as a designer and ended up working on design for a wine bar! That piqued my interest and I started learning about wine. I got a job in Pennsylvania, the fifth largest wine producer in the country at the time, and I started going to wine classes. Friends started calling me when they were having friends over, asking for advice about what wine should be paired with the meal they were about to prepare. More and more friends were calling for advice. Eventually I moved home to Detroit for family reasons and decided to start a business! While planning, I flew around the country to get to know the wine industry. I tried 320 wines! And interviewed people everywhere I went. I started Vino Dream using this new knowledge and experience.

Meg Pouncy pic

California vineyard

Tell me about your love for Detroit – why start your business in Detroit? What do you love about this city?

There is no other place I could imagine living at this point. I’ve lived on the East Coast and I’ve lived on the West Coast. Detroit is closest to my heart. There are amazing opportunities here! This is a chance of a lifetime to participate in the rebuilding and entrepreneurial energy that is captivating the city right now. There’s no better place to start a business; the support network is great. People embrace each other – literally. That doesn’t always happen in other cities.

Any tips for discovering unique Michigan or local wines to serve at a Detroit wedding?

Consider the whole experience! Many people think only about the champagne toast and then cake. Don’t serve a dry fruity wine right before a sweet frosted cake. Try a Michigan dessert wine or Canadian ice wine. Try something that will complement the cake. Think about serving different types of wine throughout the meal. Start with an appertis before the meal, and then serve another wine with the meal, followed by a dessert wine. Always look for balance when planning your wedding meal.

Let’s say I’m planning a summer backyard BBQ wedding. How should I go about selecting wine for my wedding?

Wine started out as a drink of the people, not something reserved for the rich or special occasions. Wine is for everyone. There are wines perfect for a backyard wedding! If you are grilling, there are wonderful wines that pair well with smoked meat or BBQ flavors. A Chiraz would be terrific with a grilled or seared steak. Remember to serve the wine at the right temperature. When Vino Dream caters weddings, we keep the bottles on ice until it’s close to serving time. We bring a thermometer to make sure the wine is the right temperature. If you are getting married outside and you’re having an informal reception, let your food and drinks speak to that relaxed feel!

What sorts of wine tastings and private events does Vino Dream put together?

For our pairing service, we would talk about your wedding menu and make pairing recommendations. For wedding venues that allow outside wine, Vino Dream is happy to source and serve the wine. I also do wine etiquette and Sommelier in a Day classes. I recommend those classes to individuals who are getting married and want well-rounded information about wine. You’ll leave feeling more comfortable about wine — and know how to hold the wine glass the right way, why and when to twirl, etc. I also hold Wines of Spain and Wines of Italy trainings. Finally, I do wine tasting events – for networking events or private parties.

Vino Dream wine tasting

I’m curious about the environmental impact of wine. Is there a way a bride or groom can be environmentally conscious in their wine selection process?

The wine industry is moving away from corked bottles to screw cap wines. Cork comes from trees and screw caps don’t exhaust the earth’s resources in that way. Gone are the days where wine with screw caps are only “cheapwines.” Now boxed wines are trending — boxes are easier to recycle than glass and are more efficient. You’ll also see some wines in tetrapaks. One of my favorite wines comes in a tetrapak! Another big push is toward organic wines. The extra bonus is that people who are allergic to the sulphites in many wines are able to drink organic wines.

Torrontes tetrapak


Readers: What wine(s) are you planning to serve at your wedding or upcoming event?

[engaged in the d] Bride on Bride – Part One

Bride on Bride: Patriarchy, Bride Culture, and Space to Be Queer
Part One

Engaged in the D blog post by Katherine

First, a confession: Sometimes I spend a lot of time on Facebook. It can be both a useful tool for staying connected with people, and a time-suck that drains all of one’s emotional energy and leaves one sort of generically angry and displeased with the world, and yeah, I use it for both. Now that that’s out of the way.

Last year, before I was engaged, nearly all the ads I saw on Facebook were for engagement rings. That’s not particularly surprising, I’m a mid-late twenty-something, and I listed myself as “in a relationship”, I’m sure without knowing anything else about me, that made me part of the prime market for such a thing as far as the algorithms were concerned. It did feel a little eerie, though, to see those ads all the time, while I was nervously ordering Chelsea’s ring and planning the proposal.

And then, I proposed. And then, yeah, we had to change our relationship status on the internet. It was easier than calling every single person we know.

And then, like magic, the ring ads disappeared.

What came next was an awful lot of ads to help us plan our wedding. I’ve never planned a wedding before (first and only time doing this!) and so I found myself wondering which, if any, of these sites that were being advertised would be helpful to me. I even clicked a couple of them.

And then the problem became apparent. Did I say “ads to help us plan our wedding?” because that isn’t actually correct. I meant “ads to help me plan my wedding.” That’s when I discovered what I now refer to as “Bride Culture.”

Bride Culture is the culture of immense pressure put specifically on engaged women. It was that the wedding is mostly about the woman, mostly about the dress. It says that everything has to be perfect, and by perfect, we of course mean perfect according to your 8-year-old self who watched too many princess movies, regardless of whether or not your values and goals have changed since then. Bride Culture assumes that your wedding is the most important day of your life, and that it is planned by the Bride (and maybe her mother) with very limited input from whom she is marrying.

And just in case it isn’t obvious, Bride Culture is definitely part of patriarchy.

• •

Now I don’t have a problem with how anyone else has their relationship, or how anyone else plans their wedding. If you determine that one partner has more interest in or time for planning the event than the other partner, cool, that person should probably plan it! If that person happens to be a lady, that’s cool too. The problem that I have is the cultural assumption that women are the ones planning weddings, and the implication that there are these crowds of disinterested partners (mostly grooms, but I found the same assumptions on plenty of gay wedding sites as well) just waiting in the wings for their blushing brides to finish making all the decisions.

Put quite simply, it just wasn’t us.

• •

Want to learn how Katherine and Chelsea have shifted away from the Bride Culture paradigm in their wedding planning process? Come back to LoveintheD next week to read more!

[real wedding] Alicia and Lee’s Unitarian Universalist wedding

Today’s LoveintheD real wedding post is short and sweet.

In 2009, Sean and I attended the wedding of our friends Alicia and Lee. We became friends when Sean and I began attending services at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Detroit at the time Alicia was on the board. Alicia and Lee had an intimate winter wedding… and the Christmas Eve candles were still up in the church. It was beautiful! One of the highlights was the yummy dessert bar. Another highlight was the way the officiant spoke about Alicia and Lee’s hope that the marriages of same sex couples would someday soon be legally recognized across the country.

Alicia_Lee from pews2

From Alicia:

As a mature couple, we opted for a small, do-it-yourself (DIY) type wedding. We were surrounded by our family and friends with a style that was all our own. By having a small DYI service and reception, we were able to have the wedding we wanted; we avoided expectations of others…

The details:
Venue: First Unitarian Universalist Church (service) and old Victorian house (reception)
Officiant: Reverend Drew Johnston
Flowers: Eastern Market vendors
Reception: Dessert theme with sweets, treats, and warm drinks
Music: Recorded music from the 1980s
Photographer: William Townley of TVisuals (Lee’s uncle
Tailor: Area Code 313 Blu
Hair: Curl Up & Dye

Alicia_Lee married2

Tell me about your love for Detroit.

Like love, my affection for the city changes and grows over the years. The city allowed me to become my own person, taught me to stand on my own, and taught me that I can be the change I want to see in life.

Having a wedding in Detroit meant we could have a wedding that reflect us, our style and our love of independence, reinvention, and reclamation.  Our officiant, Rev Johnston, made the ceremony that reflected us as individuals and as a couple while including our guests.  The ceremony was something I will never forget.

How did you incorporate Detroit into your wedding? What socially or environmentally conscious choices did you make during the wedding planning process?

Our tailor provided us with a custom designed dress and a custom designed tuxedo. Our wedding was in Detroit in a historic church building known for social justice work. For the reception, we used local retail, shops and services. The dessert reception featured sweets from various local bakeries. We recycled where we could. The wedding planning was all-volunteer and our wedding incorporated many DIY elements.

Alicia_Lee desserts2

Alicia_Lee children

What was your favorite moment of the wedding?

One of my favorite moments was seeing all the candlelight in sanctuary and the snow falling during the reception. Also, I really enjoyed the late evening festivities with few good friends sharing wine and scotch.

What words of advice do you have for those planning their own Detroit weddings?

DIY weddings are very possible! Having your style of wedding is also possible. Not every wedding has to be “by the book.” Design a wedding that reflects you, your spouse, and your future together!

[sneak peek] Vintage wedding inspired photoshoot at the Peacock Room

If you follow LoveintheD on Twitter, you might be aware of the fact that we held the first LoveintheD photoshoot a few weeks ago! Many thanks to Rachel Lutz at the Peacock Room, bella moon Photography, Ethereal Beauty by Becky, and four fabulous friends-turned-models-for-a-day (Kezia, Lan, Lauren, and Marcia), there are several fabulous vintage wedding inspired blog posts coming up in the next few weeks.

Below is a sneak peek of the photos taken by bella moon Photography!

Peacock Room - purse

Peacock Room - Pocket mirror

 Can you tell which pieces are vintage? 

[real wedding] Heather & Guy’s wedding: food, bikes, and invites

Heather Earnley and Guy Samuels unleashed their creative minds on their October 2012 wedding weekend with the ceremony, dance party reception, and bike ride on different days. I love the multicultural combination of Detroit and Hamtramck caterers that Heather and Guy booked for their wedding. The photos of the bike ride and the printed materials that the bride designed herself show how this couple was able to make their wedding uniquely their own!

Originally, Heather and Guy were to be married a few weeks before the reception weekend. But when they learned that Guy’s father would be able to come into town from Miami, they decided to have the wedding ceremony during the same weekend so he could be present for everything.  Heather said: “That made everything a little more chaotic, but I wouldn’t change a thing to be able to share that with Guy’s father!”

Heather_Guy portrait

Venues: Ceremony at Belle Isle Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory  / Reception dance party at Northern Lights Lounge   / Post-bike-tour dinner: Motor City Brewing Works
DJ: Craig Gonzales
Catering: Jamaica Jamaica, Royal Kabob, Jacques Taco Truck, Sgt. Pepperoni’s, and Franklin Cider Mill
Invitations: Toboggan Run Stationery (run by the bride!)
Rings: Engagement ring by Ericia Bartels, bride’s wedding ring by Melle Finelli, groom’s ring by Minter and Richter Designs
Hair: Red

Tell me about your love for Detroit.

There is so much hidden culture and cool quirks about Detroit, that it always feels like an inside secret. 

How did you give your wedding guests a “Detroit experience?”

Most of our family do not hang out in Detroit, and only about half of our friends do, so we wanted to have a few events that introduced everyone to the great things that we do all the time, and are unique to Detroit.  We wanted to sort of use our wedding as a showcase to spoil our friends and family with cool experiences.  We wanted to use some of our favorite local restaurants for our food instead of hiring a caterer.   It was also important to us that we had an organized bike ride.  Biking is such a great way to see the city and much more immediate than riding around in a car.  A lot of people who did the ride had never ever heard of the Cut or knew about the new murals in Eastern Market and stuff, so it was great to introduce that.

Guy and I love to ride our bikes through the city, and we wanted to share that with our friends and family.  Plus, we had a fair amount of people coming in from out of town and we wanted to make the trip memorable. We wanted to showcase the Riverwalk, the Dequindre Cut, the new Eastern Market graffiti, Belle Isle, and the Heidelberg Project.

Wheelhouse Detroit is a company that rents bikes right on the Riverwalk, which was perfect for all our out of town guests.  I mapped out a route that was about 16 miles, that included all of the sights we wanted to highlight, and I felt was an easy, fun distance.  Everyone had a great time, despite the rain that threatened to cancel the ride, and the sun came out by the end and all was well.

Heather_Guy Pre Bike

Heather_Guy Bike Ride

Heather_Guy Biking near Heidelberg

You had quite a lot of caterers! Tell me about the food.

Guy’s one request in all of the planning was he wanted Jamaican food to celebrate his heritage.  We ordered Patties (both veggie and meat) and chicken wings from Jamaica Jamaica, a Jamaican Restaurant in Detroit.  We also ordered a fatoush salad from our favorite Middle Eastern place in Hamtramck, Royal Kabob.  I have had a major obsession with tacos for years and so having a Taco Cart come and serve tacos and enchiladas was a natural choice.  The Jacques Tacos Truck was a hit, as was the fatoush and jerk chicken. We had pizzas delivered by Sgt. Pepperoni as a late night snack as well.  And for dessert we had cider and doughnuts from the Franklin Cider Mill.

Heather_Guy Taco Truck

What was your favorite part of the wedding planning process?

Designing all of the stationery was definitely my favorite part of the planning.  It was such a fun challenge to create a beautiful invitation that perfectly conveyed the spirit of our celebration.  And then to expand that vision into a whole suite of cards was awesome.  My other favorite moment was when Guy and I were choosing our Vows for the ceremony.  We were both on our laptops, drinking a glass of wine and laughing over all of the saucy ones that we kept finding that were not what we were looking for, but so funny and inappropriate.  I enjoyed all of the planning process, but that night was probably my favorite.

Heather_Guy Formal Invites

Heather_Guy Save the Date Thank You

What words of advice do you have for those planning their own Detroit weddings?

I would say: Don’t be afraid to find creative solutions! Weddings have a magical effect on people and friends and family will come out and support your ideas or your vision, so don’t be afraid to do what you want.


Engaged in the D – Meet the LoveintheD guest bloggers!

I am excited to announce that LoveintheD has four new guest bloggers! All of them are engaged people planning their weddings in Detroit. Katherine will be one of the guest bloggers, Roland will be another, and Chris and Melissa are planning to write some posts together as a team!

Are you as excited as I am to hear what they have to say about their wedding planning experience? I anticipate that you, the LoveintheD readers, will get to read all about making weddings as close to zero waste as possible, learning how to make a wedding dress, and ways to keep costs down and support local vendors.

Meet the “Engaged in the D” guest bloggers for Loveinthe D.

Katherine and Chelsea engagement pic

Katherine & Chelsea

Wedding date: Friday, September 6, 2013

Katherine tells the engagement story:

It was the end of December, the last full moon of the year. Shortly after Chelsea and I started dating, we started celebrating full moons together as often as possible. In the summer, sometimes we’d pack a picnic. In the colder months, typically we’d take a walk. So, two days after Christmas, I came home from visiting my family in Lansing, and I asked her if she would like to take a walk with me. The sky was perfectly clear. My heart was about to fly out of my chest. She said that sounded nice.

I mulled some wine and we set out. I am not very good at keeping secrets or surprises, especially with people I am close to, because I want to tell them everything. I was so certain I would give my purposes away at any moment, but somehow it didn’t happen. On the walk we talked about past full moons, about how we’ve grown together, about how funny it now seems that we were once shy and nervous around one and other all the time, and about the idea of building a future on this foundation of love and support. I steered us towards one of my favorite pedestrian bridges, so we could look at the moon. Then I took a candle out of my pocket, only to discover that my lighter was broken.

So I had to read my speech by moonlight.

I won’t reproduce it here or anywhere, but it was about how being with her has made me a better person, and I want to keep growing with her. She smiled, just thinking I was being romantic and sweet, until the end. At the end, I offered to spend all of my days with her, and asked for the favor of getting to share hers. I watched her hands creep up over her face. And it was at that romantic moment that I realized, I hadn’t got out the ring yet, and in all of my planning, I’d never decided if I was going to kneel! The ring is beautiful (plug for Emily Wiser, who made the ring and is making my engagement ring, and our wedding bands as well) and also ethical and personal. It’s all recycled gold, and the stone is a small moonstone. One of the old legends about moonstones is that, if you give one to your lover on the full moon, it will strengthen your bond and make your relationship more enduring.

She said yes. We’re getting married on September Sixth, Two Thousand Thirteen.

Chris_Melissa beach

Chris & Melissa

Wedding date: Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the Detroit Yacht Club 

Chris tells the engagement story:

I didn’t propose to Melissa. We arrived at a consensus. Melissa Damaschke, enivronmentalist, feminist, progressive, and protector of the Great Lakes, did not want to be “asked” to be a man’s wife. I knew this and other things from the many discussions we’ve had on the subject for the last six years. However, the term “consensus” was a recent development. Nonetheless, in October 2012, recognizing a marriage would be somewhere in our near future, we fell into a life of Sinful Living with all its temptations: sharing an address, splitting bills, and passive/aggresively leaving dishes in the sink. I don’t make enough money as a piano teacher and part-time art teacher to have surprised her with a really nice diamond ring.   This is acceptable, however, as Melissa didn’t want a diamond given the complicated and violent world of the diamond trade. Infact, lucky me, she’s not really into jewelry.

Saturday morning, November 3rd 2012, Melissa and I were running errands one of which was a stop at SOCCRA (the recycling center in Troy/Royal Oak on Coolidge). After we dumped a few boxes of paper, plastic, and glass we returned to the car. I turned down the volume of the stereo and reached for her hands. I said, “I’d like to put forth a vote on us getting married.” She laughed and said, “Seriously, Holt? You’re doing this here?!” I replied in the affirmative. “Where else does one reach a consensus with Melissa Damaschke?”  She laughed again and said yes. No ring, just a simple question put forth to the vote.  When we got home, I pulled-out a twist tie.  Wrapping it around her finger I said, “This is what you get for marrying a poor musician. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Now, we’re looking forward to our Green Detroit wedding!

matthew and roland

Roland and Matthew

Engagement story coming soon!

Engaged readers: What are the highlights from your wedding planning process thus far? 

Where one’s something old is another’s something new [Interview with The Wed Exchange]

Are you a bride (or groom) on a budget? Or a past bride (or groom) with many unused wedding items? Here’s a potential solution!

I was so excited to meet for breakfast last weekend with Lotoya Vongrechin, a co-founder of The Wed Exchange! The Wed Exchange is taking place on Saturday, April 13 in the Detroit area and the following day in Missouri. The Wed Exchange is “where her something old is a bride’s something new.” The event is an opportunity for past brides and brides-to-be to buy, sell, and exchange wedding items such as gowns, decor, bridesmaid dresses, and more.

I agree with Lotoya when she says: “We live in an environment where there are lots of DIY brides and brides on different budgets. There was nothing in Metro Detroit where brides on a budget could buy used wedding items!” She came up with The Wed Exchange in order to fill this void and is excited to launch the first events next weekend!

There are certainly many do-it-yourself brides (and grooms) out there who end up with many creative items that are used for a few hours on their wedding day but don’t have much use beyond that. If you have wedding items taking up space in your house or just want to do something with unused wedding items, consider selling some of your items at The Wed Exchange. Sign up by April 10 to sell your items. Lotoya suggests that you think about which items you are emotionally attached to, and which items you are not so attached to. Are you going to have a vow renewal? What will you want to wear your gown again? “Or do you want to make another bride’s day very special? That could be her something borrowed or old.”

brides against breast cancer

If you are a creative open-minded bride or groom, or simply trying to save some money (seriously, who isn’t??) on your wedding, the Wed Exchange will provide an opportunity for you to buy lightly used items at a lower price. Part of each ticket sale will go toward Brides Against Breast Cancer, and if you want the event planners to sell your items, your unsold items can be donated to charity. Ticket sales run until April 12.

The WED Exchange post card - detroit


The WED Exchange post card back - detroit

Lotoya is a wedding and event planner whose roots are actually in the automotive engineering industry! She started out by planning detailed trips for some of the Big Three companies and also helped plan several friends’ weddings and bridal showers. “Planning was really really always my first love. When you love something deeply in your core, you always get pulled back to it.” She started her event planning company in 2008.

“Most girls and women dream about their wedding. I have, definitely… and I just love weddings. I love the art of love. I think you should be able to create something you love, whether it’s large, small, or however you want to do it.” She encourages brides to go with their gut, even as they browse the multitude of wedding magazines and blogs. If you are getting overwhelmed, “always look within yourself and what you envision your wedding to be. You want to bring in your own personal style, not what everybody else is doing.”

She loves using Pinterest as a tool for creating a full wedding concept. When she sits down with a client, she gets to know the bride, groom, or parent, and develops a board of wedding images for feedback. After that discussion, she then recreates a similar vision from those images! Lotoya’s favorite moments of wedding planning are (1) the first look – when the couple first sees each other on their wedding day and (2) when the couple sees the transformed venue for the first time. “Both of those moments literally bring tears to my eyes!”

What used wedding items have you been thinking about buying or selling?

[groom’s view] Creating one-of-a-kind wedding invitations

Hooray! It’s the first groom’s view post by my husband Sean! Check it out and consider leaving him some blog comment love. Note: It was I, not Sean, who linked words like “sartorial” and “audiophile” to their definitions. He has a bigger vocabulary than I…

Planning a wedding can be a very stressful process for a couple. There were times during the planning phase of our wedding when I wondered if surviving the planning process was the first test of our potential as a married couple. While every couple will have its own internal dynamics that are usually not apparent to friends and family, those reliable guidelines can go out the window when previously undisclosed wedding traditions and expectations come to the surface.

Fortunately, I’m a sartorial traditionalist, an audiophile and have an interest in design and art so I took the lead in designing invitations, hiring a DJ, arranging music, and selecting tuxedos (and a dress) for the groom’s party. Of course this planning process did not happen in a vacuum and Stephanie was my chief collaborator and the inspiration for everything that is commendable in the abovementioned areas of responsibility.

Selecting an initial design for our invitations was actually very easy as I had given Stephanie a painting of us by Matte Stephens as an engagement gift. We were certain that we wanted to use it on the invitations; however, I also had my heart set on a letterpress element and avoiding anything too elaborate. One challenge was that most letterpress shops do not also do giclee printing (high-end, high-resolution inkjet). The other challenge was that letterpress paper is not engineered for giclees. After consulting with Detroit letterpress shops I was aware of at the time, I could not find one that was interested in the job. [Salt & Cedar is the relatively new letter press shop in Eastern Market that did not exist when we were planning our invitations.]




After weeks of internet searches, I reached out to the Elevated Press in Ann Arbor. The owner, Michelle, was willing to discuss the project and help us develop a layout that simplified the project. I borrowed a giclee printer and printed the image per Michelle’s layout and then delivered them to her for her to press. I made sure to reach out to Matte for permission before sending Michelle the image and he was honored that we were including his artwork in our wedding invitations.

After a great deal of trial and error and reading some technical documents on using Photoshop and printing on a printer with eight separate color cartridges, I was able to reproduce the image with the level of accuracy and nuance I had hoped for — no simple task when using ivory paper. Michelle then printed the letterpressed portion and RSVP cards. We ended up with an opportunity to visit the White House in April 2011 and actually present President Barack Obama with an invitation to our wedding.



His response was that ours was “the coolest wedding invitation he’d ever seen.” President Obama also said that he would try to make it if he was in town. It turned out that he was in Detroit on our wedding day to meet with then-President of South Korea, Lee Myung-Bak. Good thing he didn’t show up as tapping one’s glass to elicit a kiss between the newlyweds could have been grounds for a cavity search.

Michelle ordered beautiful navy envelopes from Paper Source to coordinate with the ink on our invitations. I ordered a custom return address stamp from 2impress on Etsy. Stephanie hand addressed the invitations in silver ink due to her talent for writing legibly.