The Stewarts’ Sentimental Ceremony

You’ve probably been skeptical about dating websites, they’re proliferous and infamous for catfish schemes, but for some, they fill their purpose.

juliann and lawFor Juliann and Lawrence, is what tied their fates together. They immediately connected on many levels. Both have deep roots in family, culture and their home of Northwest Washington. So when they decided to get married, they wanted to share those deep roots as an integral part of the celebration.

Juliann and Lawrence were married in scenic Port Townsend, Washington. It was a beautiful day at the Northwest Maritime Center, which sits right on the water.

The ceremony took place in the courtyard adjacent to the marina beach. Juliann’s father walked her down the stairs to meet her new husband.

To personalize their ceremony, they did a few things to include their close family and culture. They honored those who could not be present, either because of death or illness, by handing out deep pink roses to that individual’s  closest family member, which they took down to the beach to toss out to sea. The emotion in watching family honoring those gone before was tangible.

roses port townsend beach

They also honored the Scottish heritage they both share with a tartan handfasting, a cultural tradition dating back to the Pagan Celts that has been adapted for Christian ceremonies over the centuries. Lawrence also bestowed a sash in his own Stewart family tartan upon Juliann to initiate her into his family clan.

stewart tartan

Juliann and Lawrence’s wedding ceremony is a perfect example of how you can include your family and culture in your special day. Diane Kolanović-Šolaja from Dee Kay Events said, “From having Grandma’s pecan pie at the dessert table or having henna delicately painted onto your hands, your culture is your heart. Celebrate it!” There are ways to incorporate family and cultural traditions that will connect you as a couple to the guests joining you on your wedding day.

An article from Bridal Guide details ideas to include cultural traditions in your special day, but they first offered this advice: “Stay true to yourself and don’t be afraid to make cultural customs your own. ‘With some thought and planning, you can give even the most traditional cultural elements a modern twist,’ says Cathy O’Connell from Celebrations of Joy. Tonia Adleta from Aribella Events advises combining different sensory elements, such as interactive food stations and a steel drum band or a bagpiper, to create an experience that guests are unlikely ever to forget.”

Explore what your heritage has to offer in wedding traditions. Jewish weddings traditionally include a chuppah, a canopy meant to provide sanctuary from evil spirits, and represents the couple’s home together. In France, instead of wedding cake, the traditional wedding dessert is croquembouche, which is essentially cream puffs stacked into a conical pyramid shape and emphasized with spun sugar. Brides from many cultures wore colors other than white – various Asian cultures wear red or another bright color, Irish brides traditionally wore blue. Also in Ireland, the traditional wedding ring is a claddagh ring, with symbolism that represents friendship, loyalty, and love. (You can find more traditions here at Business Insider and Bridal Guide.)

Something that everyone at your wedding can appreciate is a family favorite dessert. It can be a sentimental touch to include your family by inviting them to add to your menu. Ask an aunt to make her famous cookies, or a mom to whip up her special lemon bars. Include a little card with the dessert that details what it is and who made it.

If you have a relative with special, professional talents, consider asking them to contribute their gifts. An example could be a cousin or sibling with musical talents performing on your wedding day.

(For more ideas, check out the article from Pop Sugar.)

You may also consider what your options are for the officiant of your wedding. Maybe a close, long-time friend from church would be willing; maybe someone close to you is a judge and could perform a courthouse wedding; or maybe even a family member who has the authority could marry you. It may depend on your religious/civil preferences and options, but don’t discount the idea.

Your culture, your family – the things that have shaped who you are – can be an essential and sentimental part of starting a new life with someone. Don’t forget to include them when beginning a new life with the person you love.

Juliann and Lawrence have now been happily married for nearly 5 years, and they’ve added two young sons to their family who will carry their family history with them the rest of their lives – who would’ve thought that it would have all started on a dating site?


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Project 7 Web Page


  1. Description: This is a web page I created to showcase the logo I created two weeks ago.
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I used TextWrangler as my code editing program. I learned and used HTML and CSS coding to create the webpage. I used basic HTML tags including <br>, <h1>, <h3>, <ul>, <body>, <p>, and <div> to organize the text and provide adequate negative space. I used CSS to add an appropriate background image, add color and transparency, and to manipulate my fonts. CSS also allowed me to manipulate the spacing of the margins and padding. One of the challenges was figuring out how how to coordinate the <div> tag to manipulate the transparency to be different under the logo vs. the body copy.
  3. Message: I wanted to manipulate the image and color scheme the most to communicate the sweet, creative message I tried to convey with my logo.
  4. Audience: These design choices, color scheme, font, images, all appeal most to a young female audience.
  5. Top Thing Learned: I learned a lot about coordinating CSS and HTML so they can work together.
  6. Color scheme and color hex(s): Loosely triadic, red/blue/yellow interpreted by pink/teal/ivory. Pink:#CD9E9B, Teal: #71A9A8, Ivory: rgba(254, 240, 225)
  7. Title Font Families & Category: Ribeye Marrow, decorative
  8. Copy Font Families & Category: Slabo 27px, slab serif
  9. Changes made to the CSS: I changed the colors, fonts, shape and size of the text box, added a background image, added transparency to the text box background, added two notes, and coordinated the <div> to separate the level of transparency in the header vs. body.
  10. Word Count: 487

Project 6 Stationery


  1. Description: This is a layout for a business card and stationery designed for my mother’s personal cake decorating business.
  2. Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): I used Adobe Illustrator to create the logo used on both projects. Then I used Adobe InDesign to create the layouts. It was a challenge to change and adjust between the two programs, especially when trying to work with the same colors. I invested a lot of time into revising my project. I worked really hard on alignment and adding necessary information that would be consistent on both the card and stationery. I also worked really hard on simplifying my design. Originally the cake had more lines, and the flagged banner was only an added design element on the stationery, but I was able to bring out the company name more by using the flagged banner in the logo.
  3. Message: This is designed to communicate a fun, cute, creative and professional small business. It’s very simple, which expresses a refinement in design for this particular wedding cake decorator.
  4. Audience: This is a design for a younger, more modern audience, between 19 and 30.
  5. Top Thing Learned: I learned a lot about alignment and simplicity, as well as gestalt, in order to tie all the details into one cohesive package.
  6. Color scheme and color names: A loose triadic color scheme of “red, blue, yellow” interpreted into pink, teal, and ivory/buff.
  7. Title Font Name & Category: DK Douceur, Decorative
  8. Copy Font Name & Category: Slabo 27px, Slab Serif


Project 5 Logo



Description: This is a logo project for a floral shop in my hometown.

  • Process (Programs, Tools, Skills): For this project, I started with several sketches and ideas. I used Adobe Illustrator to bring to life 3 of my sketches. My final design ended up mixing ideas from a couple of designs. I decided to use a lot of repetition of flowers, vines and leaves, and made it feel very organic in rhythm. This brings visual attention to frame the name of the store. I tried to make it equally modern and traditional to appeal to a younger audience while maintaining the older customers.
  • Message: This is to advertise Rexburg Floral as a more modern florist – a revival of their dated logo. The organic flowers and vines balanced with the contrasting typography attempts to reach the older customers and a newer, younger consumer.
  • Audience: The floral pattern and script reach to the older generation, but more youthful color scheme and typography reaches to the younger adult audience.
  • Top Thing Learned: I learned about communicating to a new audience, picking legible typography, and how you can create a design using a hybrid of ideas.
  • Color Scheme and Color Names: Analogous – green, teal, and blue
  • Title / Body Font Names & Categories: ATO Bondoluo Peek, sans serif / LillyBelle, script



Lea and the Dress Timeline

Lea and Johnathan met in January at a game night with friends. A week later Johnathan took Lea to a country dance and asked her to be his girlfriend. By April, they knew they wanted to get married and Johnathan proposed. What followed afterwards was not anticipated by either of them.
Lea and Johnathan ended up remaining engaged for two years after the initial proposal. For one reason or another the date kept getting pushed back – but they both knew one thing – nlea and johnathan 6o matter what, they wanted to be sealed for time and all eternity in a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints temple. Planning a wedding became a struggle, because they had 4 working wedding dates in the two-year engagement period. When they finally settled on August 28, 2015, they still had the challenge of planning a wedding from three different locations – Lea and Johnathan were finishing their current semester of school in Wyoming, Lea’s mom and sister were planning the reception with Lea’s long-distance guidance in Idaho, and the temple sealing itself would take place in the Bountiful, Utah LDS temple.

The reception took place in her grandmother’s garden in Idaho the day after the ceremony. The family went to work setting up tables with white tablecloths set with glass dishes filled with red, blue, and silver pebbles. They used red and blue balloons to add whimsy and color.

Lea bought her wedding dress early into the engagement, but over the two years, she didn’t regularly try it on again to assure the fit and style – which became a challenge the week of the wedding when her weight had fluctuated enough that the dress did not fit. Lea’s mom worked quickly to let out the panel for the corset back, but with all the stress of the wedding details to be organized, the dress could have been one less thing to worry about.

Getting the wedding gown is one of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding. There are so many things to think about – style, cost, venue, season – when purchasing a gown. Many brides have a vision of what they want to look like on their wedding day. But purchasing a gown can be a challenging step for long or short engagements.

In the case of long engagements, a bride needs to keep in mind what Lea experienced – the human body changes, and regular fittings are important to assure the dress will fit. In most cases, a bride should not order a wedding dress more than a year ahead of the day, according to Bridal Guide’s article “10 Mistakes Brides Make When Dress Shopping.”

“It’s important to have the rest of your wedding details in place before you can truly shop for a gown, since many factors can influence the style of the dress. Consider your venue: ‘An ornate gown with tons of embellishments and a sizeable train might look stunning in a ballroom but completely out of place at a beachfront ceremony,’ said Tolu Ogbechie, one of our real bride bloggers. Also, the colors you choose for your bridesmaids and décor can influence whether you choose white or an off-white shade” (Bridal Guide).

A specific vision for your wedding when you go to buy the gown at the right time, and getting regular fittings will be the saving grace for a long engagement.

On the other hand, in the case of a short engagement, you really need to act quickly to get the dress. “Traditionally, a wedding dress must be ordered at least six months before a wedding… However, for the bride short-on-time, there are other alternatives” ( – Weddings).

Tali Gallo, a blogger for Solutions Bridal Designer House planned her wedding in five months, and assures her readers, “Five months is enough time to order a wedding dress. There is no need to panic, but my advice is to act quick. The more time you give the seamstress the better.” For three months or less, however, a bride most likely will have to compromise and purchase a gown alternatively to the traditional method.

Sample sales will have gowns you can purchase off the rack, dry-clean, and have altered quickly, but some stores’ samples will be limited in size and number – so getting “the one” is a slightly higher task. A bride should also be aware that samples have been tried on, and are bought as-is, so they have to pay special attention to any defects, like stains or rips in the fabric, because fixing these problems will add to the already costly bill.

Other options to consider: “Visit a large bridal emporium like David’s Bridal, where they have a wide range of sizes in stock, ready to be worn. Consider using a dress not intended to be a wedding dress or bridesmaid dress, including prom dresses. Also, JCrew now carries a line of dresses suitable for brides and bridesmaids looking for a relaxed style” ( – Weddings).

Whether you’re getting married in 3 months or 12, the dress is an important decision. Maybe it’s an overwhelming decision and process for you as a bride – but do not fear! There are so many resources for you to refer to. The Knot has a great article that breaks down a timeline just for the dress. Martha Stewart Weddings has 18 great tips for wedding dress shopping. And, always, have fun – enjoy looking at photos of gowns, enjoy trying on the dreamy dresses; make the process of planning and making decisions an opportunity to be creative and unique to you and your style. Your wedding is your story – tell it your way.


unsplash wedding dress

Photo from

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