Our Wedding Details: Invitations, Vow Books, and More

Hi guys! I’m back today with the second post in my wedding series, about the special wedding details that went into our celebration. If you’d like to read part one, about getting ready on the morning of the wedding, take a look at yesterday’s post. You can also see what’s coming up next in the series below!

Wedding Posts in this Series

Other Wedding Posts

While the bridesmaids and I got ready, our photographer Shannon took some time to photograph our wedding details. Ken and I put so much thought and care into the little things we picked for our wedding, from invitations to vow books to a watercolor map of the venue. I wanted to take a minute to share what we chose (or made) and why.

Our Rings, and Why I Opted for an Unusual Engagement Ring

Our wedding rings

Engagement ring from Emily Chelsea Jewelry. Wedding bands from a local jeweler.

Our wedding rings are plain gold bands, with the engraving “My beloved, my friend” inside (a reference to Song of Songs 5:16, which Ken also included in his vows). My wedding ring is pictured above with my engagement ring, as well, which is a bit more unusual!

Engagement rings aren’t as common in the Netherlands as they are in the US. Though it’s changing over time, those that do have engagement rings usually choose for simpler and more modest designs than the big stones you most often see in America (my mom’s engagement ring, for example, was a thin gold band). Ken and I got engaged sort of spontaneously, with no ring involved (read the story here), which gave me the chance to play a role in choosing my own ring.

When I saw this wheat-patterned 18k gold ring on Etsy, I fell in love. The pattern immediately reminded me of the Book of Ruth, where wheat is a prominent symbol (or, well, plot point). Ruth is a love story, and some of its themes are family and fidelity. Though it looked nothing like a ‘typical’ engagement ring, I knew it was “the one.” We chose the engraving ‘Ruth 1:16-17’:

“Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

Later, when planning the wedding ceremony, we also chose to incorporate this verse in our vows.

Invitations

Our invitation's outside.

Invitations handmade by Letterpers.

My friend Shannon (no, not the photographer, though that mistake came up a lot at the wedding!) got married last October. When Ken and I got engaged, one of her best pieces of advice for me was to have us each pick one thing we really wanted for the wedding, prioritize those two things, and let the rest fall into place. I got the dress. Ken has a thing for beautiful stationery, so his focus was the invitations.

We found a lovely, women-owned letterpress in Amersfoort, and met with them to design our invites. Because this was Ken’s “one thing,” I wanted to do it right, so the invites ended up being a biiiit (read: more than a bit) over budget, but we accommodated it in other areas by opting for simpler decor. The outside of the invitation was a velvety mohair paper, with our names (and the branches from our wedding website) embossed in gold. The inside was letter-pressed with an illustration of our location, drawn by the letterpress’ illustrator. I absolutely loved how they turned out, and we got a lot of compliments! It ended up setting a really nice tone for the wedding down the road.

Our Vow Books

My vow book, blue with gold letters

My vow book from Juniper and White.

Ken and I wrote our own vows (though we wrote them together — more on that in Thursday’s post!). I wanted to have something to read them from, rather than reading off a folded sheet of printer paper, so I shopped around for vow books and found these lovely ones on Etsy. They did the job perfectly, and we got a matching guest book from the same shop.

Ken's vow book during the ceremony

Ken’s matching vow book

Wedding Accessories

My wedding pearls, earrings, and shoes, shown with my vow book.

Shoes from Keds by Kate Spade. Engagement ring from Emily Chelsea Jewelry. Earrings from Tang Creations. Pearl necklace hand-strung and knotted by my aunt. Vow book from Juniper and White.

I found my earrings on Etsy back in October, and chose them because the pattern reminded me of the vine patterns on my wedding dress. While I’d considered getting a ‘wedding perfume’ to wear for the first time at the wedding and bring back for special occasions and anniversaries, in the end I opted for a perfume that Ken bought me for my last birthday: Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford. For shoes, I chose cream glitter sneakers after first seeing them on Pinterest when I was in high school (!) and remembering them all these years.

My wedding shoes, glittery sneakers by Kate Spade.

Shoes from Keds by Kate Spade.

One of my favorite details was my pearl necklace, which was handmade by my aunt! She’s a silversmith, and chose, strung, and knotted the pearls for me, and welded the clasp out of my grandfather’s wedding ring. The clasp itself is two rings nested in each other, meant to symbolize Ken’s and my wedding rings. I absolutely love it, and I love that it will always carry a special meaning for me because I wore it on this day.

Me on my wedding day, with my necklace visible

If you’re enjoying this series, check back tomorrow for photos of our first look and to hear about how it felt to see Ken for the first time!

Sara Laughed

Author: Sara Laughed

I'm Sara, a writer, programmer, and American in the Netherlands. This blog is about my life, discoveries, and mistakes. Follow along, and thank you for stopping by!

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