Amber + David

Archive for the category “Our engagement”

To RSVP to the Wedding

We have been having difficulty getting the RSVP survey to appear on the website. Please look for it on the right hand side of the screen (right below the count down box) or right above the Mondaywedding header at the top of the page. Both links will lead you to the RSVP questionnaire. Don’t worry, it’s quick!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me through email at:

I will gladly walk you through it, screen shots and all.   😉


The 4th time’s the charm!

The finished handfasting cord in it’s fourth incarnation.

As I have said before, creating the majority of the items for my wedding has given me a great deal of practice with different media that I would never have touched on my own. Beading is one of those such mediums.

Close up of some of the beads and symbols chosen for the cord.

Handfasting was something that David and I encountered in our research of weddings. We both liked the idea and decided to go forward with it, however, like many other things for our wedding, this was just not something that you could go out and buy. It required pretty much making it. I did find some examples online to work off of, but for the most part it is such a personal thing that you need to create it yourself.

Displayed are both the handfasting and unity cord that we will incorporate into our ceremony.

Shopping for the beads took two days since there were multiple places we wanted to go to and we didn’t have the ability to hit them up right away. But than, even once we have them beading still took a week!

A Buddha head accompanies the other cross-religion symbols on our unity cord. Featured are items such as the cross, trinity, ying yang, star of David, crescent moon and our birthstones.

I strung up the handfasting cord three different times before I finally made it past my learning curve and figured out what I wanted. After that, I made the unity cord (David and I haven’t quite figured out how we are going to work this into the ceremony) which turned out perfect, so I went back and restrung the handfasting cord.

With so many attempts under my belt, it was nice to just be finished with it. And there is nothing quite like knowing the peace of mind that it isn’t going to fall apart on us.

The Three Thruths of Spray Paint

Glass vase with homemade gear template stuck on it.

Because “Steampunk Themed Wedding” is not an aisle marker at any store I have every been to, David and I have opted for a Do-It-Yourself approach instead. As the video posted on the attire page states, when in doubt of whether something is Steampunk or not— just glue some gears on it!

Through my wedding planning experience, I have had the good fun of being able to experiment with a types of media. Which has truly been enlightening. For example, beading? Not my thing. It’s fiddly and tends to make me loose my patience.

But spray paint? That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

My gear templates.

First, I cut out some gears David was kind enough to download from Google images. He blew them up so that they would almost take up an entire printer page. Than we got to the exciting task of cutting them out (not so much ;).

We than experimented with metallic and black spray paint, as well as some adhesive glue on a particularly large beer bottle. Not a whole lot came of it and it hadn’t decided at all what I was going to do… so naturally I forged ahead.

Trail one with printer paper templates. It was a fail.

My mother kindly provided us with a number of mismatched glass jars which we were more than happy to turn into Steampunk decor and of which I was itching to spray paint.

I tried gluing them onto the glass jars and found that they were either A). not sticking well enough or B). sticking way too well. So I ended up with speckly gear shapes when I spray painted or I tore the template right off. Grr.

So, that is when I learned the first truth of spray paint.

1st Truth: Spray paint will come off of a glass surface with warm soapy water and a scrubby.

Good to know and this truth served me well.

Trial two was much more successful. The gears stayed put and peeled off well.

After I realized that printer paper was not going to cut it as my template I glued them down to a manilla envelope since the paper has a little bit more substance to it.

Once dried, I cut them out again (still annoying the second time) and glued them back onto the glass jars. In the first few trials the templates were too stiff, not sticking and letting way too much paint beneath them. I took a deep breath and momentarily wondered if Micheal’s carried Steampunk templates. The thought passed and I was finally able to get the things to stick! What excitement.

And, of course, the painting process flew after that. Full palm onto template to get it to lay flat? Check. Wipe painted fingers on favorite yoga pants? Check. Take way too many pictures? Check.

When the templates started to cooperate I learned the next two truths of spray paint.

2nd Truth: Spray paint is a tricky fellow.

Two of the finished centerpieces awaiting clear coat.

If you think that particulate matter propelled out a nozle by compressed air isn’t tricky, than you have never spray painted a thing in your life. It is a scoundrel and a jokster. And I assure you, you will not think it’s pranks are funny. Even when everything is going right, it will still work to undermine you and that is simply a fact.

However, shortly after I discovered the 3rd truth!

3rd Truth: Spray paint can be tricked in return.

The family of finished jars and vases. All that’s left? Flowers!

More than once, I found that the template and glue were just not working to my advantage, especially not with all of the little grooves on the edge of the gears. They have a horrible tendancy to pop back up. But I did realize that if you have a quick hand, you can press the template back down into the paint before it starts to set and you will at least have the impression of there having been a template there.

A visit to a hatstore….

A fairly normal top hat in a grey (which would coordinate with the suit).

David, the ever stylish one, has his heart absolutely set on wearing a top hat for his wedding.

As before we face the nifty problem of wear to locate one for the occasion. Top hats haven’t been in fashion for at least 100 years so this isn’t just a little jaunt over to J C Penny.

We heard from our endless source of useful information (Ben), that if we went to the mythical Mall of America, we may find that which we seek — a top hat!

The name of the store was Chapel Hats, which boasted a very large selection of hats though only two of which were top hats. One was a plain black top hat and the other a brown western one…. Not nearly what we were expecting.

In the end we made a special order for a Steampunk themed top hat that will hopefully be in by August. At this time, we are also looking for top hats online or through friends.

A showy Steampunk top hat that would also be acceptable.

If anyone knows where to find a top hat (especially if you have one in your closet), please let us know. We would be more than willing to take a look at it.

Flower Garden Update

A lonely little Cosmo hanging by the fence.

My mother sent me photos of what is actually coming up in her garden (as opposed to the lovely Googled photos I had on an earlier post in May). Needless to say, I was very impressed with the speed at which things are taking off.

The stars of the show are really starting to pop out.

The warm spring months this year have really thrown us for a loop since we didn’t know what to expect from the behavior of the flowers, but they seem to be coming up in a predictable manner, though earlier than expected.

We planted a few more packets just in case the early bloomers peter out before fall. Though there is likely to be ample amount of flowers for the wedding (and bridal shower too which a good chance to try out some bouquets), there is always that lingering fear that maybe, some how, we miscalculating and we’ll only have five flowers to a vase.

Mostly green looking weeds, but they’re really wild flowers. 😉

As charming as it might sound (think little kid tea party, right?) I would very much prefer that we stick with the idea as originally planned — an abundance of wild flowers flowing from the vases!

A large majority of the garden looks like a weed right now, but eventually we will start to see the real show stoppers coming up and out.

Frocking what??

Though this is a little more Western, this is a period frock coat.

Ironically in all of this wedding planning, David has spent more on his attire  than I have! I find the total role reversal to be pretty hilarious.

For his wedding David wanted to wear a period piece called a frock coat. Let’s just say, this is not an item that you get to grab real quick from the Men’s Warehouse. We knew walking in that we were going to end up having something special ordered or made, but the trick was where….?

David special ordered his suit online from a little website called Suitopia which is based out of Sweden.

We thought, “Wow! How awesome, it’s totally customizable and we can design everything we want right to the T.” However, Wells Fargo would be our party crashers.

David’s suit will look much closer to this one in a darker shade of grey.

One day, unsuspecting day he got a call from Wells Fargo identity theft department.

“Um, Mr. Benbow, it appears that someone has made a large purchase with your bank card in…. Sweden.”

“Oh, yeah. That’s my suit for my Victorian themed wedding. I made that charge.”

Apparently, there was silence on the other end for a moment. “Really? Please hold, I have to get a manager.”

After about a 35 minute conversation and being put on hold twice, David was able to purchase his custom made suit, which is currently being made.

Handfasting Cord

The ribbon colors.

Throughout this wedding planning experience, David and I have learned a lot about how nontraditional we are. Though we buck against modern tradition, it’s really the older customs that we find attractive. In some of the reading we explored while deciding what our wedding was going to be, we came across the idea of handfasting.

The beads.

In this tradition, a couple are handfasted for a year as a trail run at marriage. After the year, if they choose to end the relationship if they felt it wasn’t working out. In some cultures you are tied together for an entire day as part of the handfasting ritual. We decided that we would like to include this in our ceremony.

During our vows we will be tied together and for the rest of the evening we will be handfasted. This symbolism behind this practice is very powerful. One partner does not make decisions, face family, or even move without communicating to the other what their intent is.

Ben is the keeper of all things and the one from whom I got the beading supplies.

This is sure to make the receiving line lots of fun!

Beading it up!

Symbolism is important to both David and I. Severals things we included were our birthstones (amethyst & ruby), both our Western (Leo & Pieces) and Eastern (Snake & Monkey) zodiac signs, plus some neat beads got tossed in just for fun. I then threaded them all up in a long strand and Ben, our bestman, did a four strand braid with the ribbons and pearls.

Flower Planting

Pink Hydrangea

For a fun Mother’s Day activity my mother, my sister and I planted the flowers that will be in our wedding bouquets. We will be creating the bride and bridesmaids bouquets, the boutonnieres for the men, as well as the flower centerpieces.

Flowers selected include: various daisy colors, wild flower mixes, cosmos (pink, white, orange), gladiolas (yellow & orange).


Perennial: Sedum (rust & purple), Boston Ivy, Core Bells,  Irises, and Hydrangeas.

Our Engagement

Amber + David

This is one of our engagement photos taken by Jessica, our wedding photographer.

I met David at Game by James in the Burnsville Center when he came in for an application. I then proceeded to sell him mispriced dice (on accident!) and I didn’t see David again until he started working for Games by James. At the time I was seeing someone else, but we remained friends hanging out and playing games until we eventually started dating.

For some reason, I just knew this relationship would be my last one. The kicker for me was one day my mom called me wondering why I hadn’t called in weeks.  Apparently, I didn’t need as much emotional support from my mother because David and I were successfully building a life together. Now we are going on four years of dating, closing on a house in the spring and we will be getting married in the fall.

Thank you for visiting our website! We hope to see you at our wedding and the celebration of the evening of Monday, September 24th, 2012. We hope to see everyone there.

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