DIY CHALKBOARD ‘N’ BIRCH WEDDING | ←THAT + VINEYARD = PLEASURE | Also, a real bride’s perspective on The First Look Argument… after having lived to tell about it. Aaaaaand my feelings on mustaches.

So, apologies in advance if this post gets a touch out of hand.

How’s your Thursday afternoon going – going well?  I’m also accepting “good!”  - see, no judgment here at TKB.  Yeah, so that was some intense blog post titling, eh, up there?  I’ve always wanted to write “bride lives to tell… [enter life-changing experience here]” or some variation on it.  Can check that off the bucket list now.  (Listen I’m not gonna sit here and say I’m proud of the items on my bucket list.)

Ok enough pleasantries, listen up.  I’ve been a proponent of chalkboards and birch in yo’ weddin’ for what, a year now?  Wait, what’s that?  Almost everyone is a proponent of those things?  True, true.  You got me.  You got me good.  Lemme throw something else atcha face then.  … Ok got one, howzabout this: I need the mustaches to come to a screeching halt.  Who’s with me.

I’ve hinted at this before in places, in fact I accidentally left out ‘mustache-related-tweets’ in yesterday’s post when I spoke about my most retweeted tweets… because it turns out I’m not the only one.  Though, conversely, I know a few of you out there are diehard mustache fans, and I get it.  I do, trust me.  I was in love when I first found about them and their myriad uses (hey check it out I used myriad back there) in weddings.  And yes, I can wholeheartedly get behind something like this:


↑ But this is the only mustache product I am currently backing.

… even if it does look like a sex toy.  But really don’t all dog toys (on a sliding scale of Slightly, to This-is-definitely-available-for-purchase-in-both-sex-shops-and-pet-stores) resemble sex toys?  No, just mine?  HAHAH not that I know what sex toys even look like.  Because I don’t.  … know what they look like.  hahahahh what’s a sex toy hahahahh I have no idea sounds interesting!  hahahahah!

{… Which brings us to this: If you’re a new reader, have you met my style of writing?  It’s exceedingly tangential in nature, but we all have a pretty decent time and then at the end you find a nice looking wedding.  So it’s well-rounded.  TKB would definitely get into its top choice college, if well-roundedness is still considered critical.  And now back to your regularly scheduled programming:}

I also know that I’ll likely feature more mustachio’d weddings, most often found within the photo booth portion – well into the future.  Ok!  So it looks like we’ve arrived at a point where Alison is being wholly hypocritical on the mustache thing.  So that’s enough for today.  Let’s get to this wedding, shall we?

Sara Gray Photography submitted this exquisiteness, which is more appropriately referred to as the wedding of Didi and Kevin.  Didi – fantastic job, sweetheart.  I love your aesthetic.  Soooomebody’s got an eye for a pretty wedding. :)  I especially adore the bouquets and florals in general, and those goshdarn CHALKBOARDS.  The mint green painted borders?  Perfection.  You know what I love!  And helloooooo there, dusty miller.  It’s been a little while since I’ve seen you…. you were sorely missed.  Thanks for coming back FOR THE WIN.

Enjoy, lovelies!

Here’s the amazeballs rundown from our beautiful bride, Didi:

Kevin and I met in 2006, and started dating shortly after we met. On our first date he took me to Multnomah Falls, and we even held hands as we hiked to the top of the falls. He proposed the day after I graduated college, in December 2009, on a dinner cruise called ‘The Portland Spirit’, and my whole family was there, which meant the world to me. Some stranger on the cruise even yelled out: “Way to set the bar dude!” ♥

Our wedding planning kind of fell into place all on its own. The first piece of the puzzle was our location, and since we really enjoyed wine tasting {Oregon Wine Country is amazing}, we were really excited when our wedding planner suggested Zenith Vineyard. They have an amazing ballroom, great outdoor area, and a gorgeous bridal suite. The second piece of the puzzle came from Etsy: our cake topper! I fell in LOVE, and when I say LOVE, I mean it. It was definitely more than we had budgeted for a cake topper, but it was well worth it. Without it, I don’t think we would’ve had the vision that made our wedding so perfect.

We didn’t want to make any statement with bright colors; we just wanted it to be very natural and organic. We chose mossy green and a very soft, dusty pink {I’m very picky about my shades of pink, and I don’t like most of them} and a very neutral taupe/tan. We told Page, our wonderful florist, to create something very woodland, natural and organic for our centerpieces. She suggested we use birch trees for our centerpieces. Together with some moss and extremely beautiful, perfect-shade-of-pink flowers, we knew she had perfected our idea. Cue in the fourth piece of the puzzle: birch and moss. Kevin was really excited about how cool it looked as a center piece. Our theme, love birds and birch trees, woodland, and our colors had just fallen into place before our eyes. We wanted to keep the birch theme going with the cake stand, so we purchased a whole bunch of birch from someone on craigslist {very cheap}. We asked Kevin’s aunt and uncle to level it all for us, so we placed the cake on Plexiglas and then placed the cake and Plexiglas on top of the leveled pieces of birch. It was all surrounded by stones and moss, and little paper butterflies; It was the best wedding cake stand I could’ve ever hoped for.

I designed our wedding invitations, ceremony programs, escort cards, menus… you name it. They all had little love birds and birch trees on them. Kevin helped by cutting them all out and punching decorative holes on the corners to give them pretty details {a LOT of work you guys}. The photo booth idea was all Kevin. It was the biggest hit at the wedding. We all had a blast taking silly pictures. The food was outstanding, the music was fun, and everybody had a blast. And my brother even had a surprise for us, a mariachi band!

We had planned for so long, and I had been so worried it wouldn’t look good. What was I thinking? It looked amazing! We were in our own little patch of Kevin-and-Didi heaven! We took a lot of ideas and advice from TKB, but the one I am the most grateful for is having taken pictures before the ceremony. The first look was the best moment of the whole day. I will forever be grateful to TKB for allowing us to have this moment to ourselves.

I wish I owned ↑ these shoes  and ↑ this hair accessory  so that I could delicately lay one upon the other and admire the scene from my bed.

I’m a little obsessed with the colors going on below.  Just something about it.

And now, your occasional installment of A Day in the Life of Bambino McPuppyPants.  Today… Bambino stars in…

“I think I drank too much water.”

“I regret NOTHING!!!!!”

So, let’s talk… if you’re looking for a topic, you may choose from potential topics listed below.  Or you can just skip all of them and simply say, “aaWOOOOOguh.”

A) love or anti-love mustaches?

B) And how about this freaking wedding, y’all.  I love Didi, and it’s not just because of what she said in her write-up.  That’s only, like, 7% of it.  She did an AMAZEBALLS JOB with her wedding, and she rules, clearly, as a person.

C) Those green chalkboards are eye-popping touches.  And her florals, and cake, I mean… I can’t decide what’s my favorite part.  What’s yours?

D) what do you think of her decision to do a first look?

xoxo!  - Alison

Photography: Sara Gray Photography / Via Two Bright Lights / Caterer: Vibrant Table Catering and Events / Event Planner: Soiree, Special Event Planning / Reception Venue: Zenith Vineyard / Cake Designer: kasey’s Kreations llc. / DJ: All Wright Music

Label(s): Color, Green, Mr. McPuppyPants, Oh, How PINteresting, Pink, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. lauren on August 25, 2011

    WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE (that’s the biggest kind of agreement I can give, if ya didn’t know) on the mustache front. Needs. To. Stop. Like, right MEOW.

  2. Kerry on August 25, 2011

    I know what you mean about the moustaches… i kindof feel the same way about balloon-holding photos too… i mean, i really loved them when they first “came out” (??) but now, theyre everywhere, and i’m just a bit over it, like when you eat too much cotton candy… theyre good, but too much, its just too much!

  3. Loe on August 25, 2011

    A: LOOOOOOVE mustaches. I even have a mustache flask.

    B: LOOOOOOVE the wedding. Its truely amazing and looks like it was a blast.

    C: Cake is ubercute. Just uber. Loves it.

    D: First looks are super cute. I mean, what is better than capturing that look on e/o faces at that moment?!

    E: LOOOOOOVE bambino.


  4. Alison on August 25, 2011

    Lauren – LOL I enjoy your use of caps. We are separated at birth, no?

    Kerry – ok, amazing point. I mean right now I FREAKING ADORE THEM, but probably one day, I mean, I’ll probably kinda be over them, right? Even though balloon photos = personal happiness, still, for me. Also, lol’d for reals at your “came out” question marking. Hahahhhh that’s a funny observation about *trends.* :)

    Loe – the fact that you went ahead and answered all of them, a) makes me love you that much more and, b) is a surefire indicator that we’d probably have a great time partying together. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me why. These things, I can’t explain.

  5. Shulie [RobbinsBrothers] on August 25, 2011

    Ditto on the mustaches. I never liked them. Never liked them drawn on fingers, as a necklace, as a photobooth prop. Ever. It’s way too hipster for my tastes. I would hate for any of photos of myself to end up on

    Yet I totally back up first-look photo seshies. I am totally doing it for my own fantasy wedding. So intimate, romantic, joyful, adorable. All wrapped up like a gyro. Why gyro? I think I’m hungry, that’s why..

    Mustaches: 0
    First-Look: 1

  6. Alison on August 25, 2011

    Shulie – omg, before today i didn’t even KNOW ABOUT so thank you.

    Also, lolol about the gyro. My reference would have been ‘all wrapped up in some prosciutto.’ you know, the way the housewives say it WAIT WHAT HOUSEWIVES I DON’T WATCH REAL HOUSEWIVES…

  7. Didi on August 25, 2011


    *runs around screaming like a crazy person*

    This is SUCH an incredible surprise!! :D I love that you feature my wedding and talk about sex/dog toys in the same post! :D That’s like a true Knotty Bride post!
    I love you, and I love your blog, and your ‘exceedingly tangential writing style’ and I love your dog, and I love how happy it makes me feel to actually *be* part of your blog.

    This just made my day!

  8. Alison on August 25, 2011

    Didi – AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH right back, young lady! Congrats on having such a gorg wedding, and fantastic photographer, and just generally being you! I’m so honored by your sweetness!

  9. Cassie | Meet Mrs B. on August 25, 2011

    I’m SUPER anti-mustache and I’m relieved I’m not the only one!! It seems that EVERYONE around town seems to be doing this mustache craziness, and I don’t even know when it became okay for this to happen. I certainly did NOT okay this! It just became a “thing” and no one bothered to ask one another…”Hey…are we PRO-mustache here?”

    P.S. Did anyone else see the How I Met Your Mother Episode where Barney bets Ted he can get Ted to grow a mustache. One of the best moments ever!

  10. Alicia @CharityWedding on August 25, 2011

    Please, oh please dear lord, if anything ever good comes of your posts, please let it be that the mustache trend dies. A quick and permanent death.

  11. Alicia @CharityWedding on August 25, 2011

    I read that again and it seems that I was either referring to you as dear lord or that Jesus writes your blog. Either way, I apologize for the confusion but I have a feeling you understood.

  12. Karin on August 25, 2011

    we just did a similar look last weekend, the Brides grandfather had birch trees on his property and they
    had chopped one down and made vases for all the centerpieces, what a wonderful look and keepsake for the family members.

  13. Rachael on August 25, 2011

    I am *so tired* of the mustache thing. I think they were cute for a little while but then all the Hipsters started growing them ironically, then wearing them on clothes ironically, and then they became a huge mainstream trend and they are EVERYWHERE. I can’t do ANYTHING without running into mustaches, ironic or not.

    But here’s the real issue. Can we talk about how much I love that cake topper? Hint: It’s a LOT.

  14. Yams on August 25, 2011

    I was blessed and honored to have been a part of Didi and Kevin’s wedding and I can tell you it was absolutely gorgeous!! She has an amazing eye for detail and is super creative but the best thing was that they are incredibly in love with each other and that came through that day and that made everything even more beautiful and special! Didi I love you and you are the most awesome person I have ever known and Kevin is truly lucky to have you in his life.

  15. Naomi on August 26, 2011

    I would give this post a 10 {as most of your posts are supreme goddess of the blog world} but as my bidness’ patnah’ wrote…the ‘stache must die. It must die. The shit is no longer cute. Can we try something else let’s say…I don’t know beards anything but the stache!

  16. Chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day on August 26, 2011

    ok, I forgot to comment yesterday so this is a combo comment. I heart Gosling, I HATE the wedding mustaches, and this wedding is absolutely gorg. Heart you too. that is all

  17. Chelsea on August 26, 2011

    I see your point on the mustaches, but as a bride-to-be who has been every DIY tutorial’s bitch, it was an easy one to make for a fun touch in photobooth pics.

    Have you all any other equally simple, simpler, or cheap alternatives that aren’t too kitsch that they’re ick?

  18. Shawna Brinkley on August 26, 2011

    I bought Nugget that same dog mustache toy last week and it’s the ONLY one that i’ve ever liked….i never liked that craze to begin with. He doesn’t hold that toy in his mouth like he should, bummer, it was kinda pricey :/

  19. jenny (jennypickle designs) on August 26, 2011

    This’ll be long so I’m apologizing, but I years ago used to work in an amusement park and there was this rather rotund gentleman who also happened to be a photographer who used to bring his daughters, one of which was developmentally disabled, to the the park every Sunday. Great guy, so patient with his girls, always kind with the park staff, knew us all by name and we all used to sneak his daughters free rides and treats…and he had the most obnoxious handlebar mustache you ever did see. Mind you, this was AT LEAST ten years ago, long before steampunk and hipster were even terms, before tweeting meant anything more than the sound of a bird…sorry, tangent…
    …but my point is, even though I can see why everyone is getting sick of the ‘stache on a stick, on a glass, on a ring, etc. I can’t help but think of those two sweet girls and their neat fun silly dad every time I see one, and I think that sort of sums it up, at least the use of the mustache-as-photo-prop…something fun for the kids in a photo booth (even if the “kids” happen to be tipsy wedding goers)…making oneself look ridiculous is a great way to loosen up the atmosphere and encourage everyone to let go and enjoy themselves. Plus, my five year old son loves poking me in the ribs and saying “mustache cash ‘stash” every time he sees one, which never fails to crack me up.

    I know I’m typing too much but I also wanted to say how amazingly lovely this wedding was (I LOOOOOOVE Dusty Miller and wish I could figure out how to dry it), how stunning Didi looks, and how I wish I had been the one to design that gorgeous headpiece she wore! I’ll never get tired of birch used in any way shape or form, and I do believe this is my favorite wedding cake ever! DONE!

    …so sorry for my loquacious self!

  20. Lena on August 26, 2011

    THOSE EFFING FLOWERS. I want to throw myself a little wedding every week, and the only thing I actually do is get a whole bunch of beautifully arranged flowers. I hear people do that sort of thing these days, and they don’t NEED to call it a wedding persay, but I think I will.

    As for mustaches, I think I’m done. Granted, nothing is quite as silly or cute as that rubber dog ‘stache, but as a lady whose sweetheart actually rocks a fair amount of facial hair (like, a ton. A bush of it all over his pretty little punum, and I’ve never seen him without it), real mustaches are one (horrifying) thing, and faux ‘staches are another. A dead another. Leave them be. And you better start using balloons judiciously too, because I am starting to get tired of them.

    Thank goodness for Bam-he took my blood pressure down a bit after getting all work up over mustaches.

  21. anna on August 26, 2011

    1) I dislove mustaches. Too overdone. And I feel like you need to have ironicly too tight pants, and a vintage pair of suspenders on to pull em off, and even then they annoy me. But funny as an ironicly ironic photobooth prop.

    2/3) LOVE LOVE LOVE the wedding. It’s like super pretty woodlandy birchiness. Really nicely done. and unique for how much that theme is done now.

    4) We did a first look, and it was awesome. I loved having a moment to ourselves before the insanity began. I loved the silence and solemnity of the moment, just soaking in what was about to happen. Plus the pictures were amazing. Amazing.

  22. Sarah on August 26, 2011

    Oh, I adore the mustaches. You are all just haters! They are darling and fun to play with at a wedding. They make conversation pieces and are fun for young and old alike.

    What I dislike is all the silly slang that people are using these days (ahem, amazeballs). Now THAT gets old.

  23. Sarah on August 27, 2011

    Those florals are incredible!! Possibly my favourite floral details of the month. And up there in my ‘Favourite florals of 2011′

    Also – moustache dummies for babies are more awesome than moustache dummies for dogs.

  24. Nora on August 27, 2011

    Ugh, as a recent college grad, I have severe hipster hate/envy. I wish I could be ironic all the time but I have to work and I would prefer that only Bambino got to take adorable ironic photos (and that they were posted here every day). I just don’t like mustaches. They creep me out, real, faux, etc. I like beards though and luckily hipsters have abandoned them in favor of things like this:

    Anywayyyys, I love dusty miller, this wedding, and adorable pretty pink and naturals!

  25. The Match Maven on August 30, 2011

    LOVE the flowers. Definitely my favorite…

  26. Kimberly on October 11, 2011

    Love it! Where did you get your cake topper? If you could email me the info I would really apperciate it!

  27. Kady on October 18, 2011

    random question, but what kind of dog is that at the very end?


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