Hello Thimble readers! It’s Hannah writing to you today. Chances are, if you took a class from Sharon in the past 18 months, you heard about a wedding. Well, the big day came and went in a happy blur on May 14th and I’m so excited to share a few (ok, maybe more than a few…) pictures with you! Every family member including Sharon, her daughters, their husbands, their children and even the neighbors contributed to Dan and Hannah’s handmade wedding. All photos are by Ryan Greenleaf Photography, and if you’re in California this man is amazing. We highly recommend him!!
Let’s start with the dress. It is infinitely more beautiful than I had imagined and I am overwhelmed by the amount of love that was poured into it (and my accessories) from my family. I could cry happy tears just thinking about it! I tried on wedding dresses at a boutique just to be sure that I liked the silhouette I thought I wanted. While trying on dresses we also inspected them to see how the construction worked, how bustles has been designed and to fill up on inspiration.
Mom and I went home and searched through her pattern collection to find similar looking silhouettes. We ended up piecing together these two vintage patterns:
The McCall’s pattern on the right was extended so that the ‘trumpet’ part of that skirt became the bottom of my dress. The slip pattern (by Simplicity) on the left was used for the bodice pieces as it had a good sweetheart neckline.
Lisa, Mom and I made a trip to San Francisco and purchased the lace, pearl buttons, rayon grosgrain (used as my belt) silk and Bemberg rayon (used as a lining) for my dress at Britex fabrics. Later on in the sewing process, I realized that I didn’t want the dress to be shiny, so I purchased several yards of silk mesh from the Thimble and we used that as an overlay, as well as the small sleeves. The layers of fabric, from the inside out, went Bemberg rayon, cotton (sewn as a muslin and then added in as a foundation layer), silk satin, silk mesh, and lace over the bodice. The bodice was self lined with the silk satin.
Emma made my veil several days before the wedding with good ol’ bridal tulle from Beverly’s and it was such a beautiful touch. I wasn’t sure if I wanted a veil, or if there was going to be time to make one, but in the end I’m so glad I had one, and that it was handmade by my sister.
My garter was handmade, and hand beaded, by my Auntie and I love it. She pieced together a beautiful silk handkerchief and added beads in colors that matched my bridesmaids. It was such a sweet addition to the day and I treasure it.
Jill beaded the medallion for my belt, and it is quite possibly one of the most beautiful things I own. She started with a single ‘star’ cut from a scrap piece of my lace, and then filled it in with beads that matched the varying shades of white and taupe of my dress, belt and shoes. I love it more than I can express.
The cakes: If you didn’t know that Lisa had talents other than felting and dyeing, you are in for a treat. I knew as soon as Dan and I got engaged that I wanted Lisa to make our wedding cake. She used to cater, always makes the food for Thimble events, and is by far the most talented person I know when it comes cuisine. When her and I began planning, we realized that we had too many ideas for just one cake. So, we ended up choosing four different cakes and made them in smaller sizes to accommodate the number of guests. They were SO beautiful, and even tastier than they looked. Homemade wedding cakes that should grace the pages of The Knot, how blessed are we?
The setting: We skipped a fancy wedding venue and chose an even prettier option: my parent’s backyard. Dad seeded the lawn months ago and carefully mowed, and fertilized so that between the lush green of the lawn, the canopy of oak, alder, sycamore and catalpa trees, the backyard was transformed into a picture-perfect place to say “I do”.
My nephew and parents spent countless hours in the backyard pruning, spreading, planting, raking, clipping, shoveling, and sweating to make the house look at beautiful as it did. Whenever I was home I did my best to help, and mom and I spent the days leading up to the wedding planting pots and hanging baskets with loads of flowers to add pops of color to a mostly green yard.
My father built the picnic tables from redwood he reclaimed after tearing down several decks for a client. Free tables? Yes, please. Thanks Dad!
We decorated the tables with vintage and antique linen tablecloths and napkins from the Tin Thimble’s huge collection of linens (some of you may remember when we used to carry those in the shop! Yes, we still have them). Antique mason jars that have been at my parent’s house since the 1800’s served as our vases. Dan and I collected antique California postcards and added those to the centerpieces to carry through our “California” theme.
I purchased plates and mason jars from every thrift store in the greater Sacramento area to save us some money (yes, purchasing them can be cheaper than renting!) and our silverware was borrowed from every family member. Thanks for that too, sisters and auntie!
My mother and father made a chuppah (pronounced hoo-pah) out of birch branches and trim pieces from their home. It was beneath this beautiful archway that Dan and I said our vows and later ate dinner.
The flowers: Mom and I spent a lot of time purchasing bulbs, seeds and plants that we had planned on using in the arrangements. Of course, about 3 of our 30 bulbs were ready in time, so we had to improvise. I purchased four large buckets of flowers from Pilz Produce (whom I used to work for) at the Foothills Farmer’s Market and with the help of my sisters, aunt, mom, nephew and friends, we made the bridal bouquets, table arrangements, and boutonnieres the day before the wedding. They were a fraction of the cost I would have paid a florist, and I adore them more than any picture I cut out as an inspiration.
Other details: My mom and auntie made us a HUGE picture board. It was the sweetest thing to look at, and brought back so many happy memories for both of us.
My dad and nephew built a dance floor, and band platform for us and tucked them under the catalpa tree, which was strung with edison bulbs that cast a perfect light on the evening.
My brother in law made us an amazing bar out of old barn wood and corrugated tin (I’m so disappointed I didn’t get a picture of it!) and a dear family friend let us borrow a very old animal trough which we used as an ice chest. Steve, Gary, if you happen to read this, we just can’t thank you both enough!
There’s simply no words to express how grateful Dan and I are to everyone who contributed to our day. We are so blessed to not only have one another, but to be surrounded by so many generous, kind, talented people (on his side and mine!). It was such a perfect day and we wouldn’t change a thing! Thank you for letting us share, Thimble fans.