Since Valentine’s Day is this week and everyone is in a loving mood I figured it was the perfect time to get around to the post I wanted to write this summer on our first wedding anniversary. When we were getting married we wanted to ensure that we had somewhat of a running theme to it because of the large role running plays in our relationship. However when trying to find inspiration I kept running into a conundrum- how do we have a running theme, but still keep it a classy affair? I think I did a pretty good job (I would love to say “we” but Robert will be the first to tell you I planned the details he nodded and perfected the “yes, dear.”) balancing incorporating our passion into the event while maintaining the formality I thought was important at such a momentous day in our lives.
Save the Date: So let’s start at the beginning. We decided to use the idea of a running bib for the save the date in magnet form in order to give the large amount of our out of town guests a heads up about the date before we sent out our invitations. I was able to order the design from Etsy. We got Gordon, Robert’s very talented older brother, to make the design of the husband and wife running at the bottom and the Etsy seller was able to add it on without a problem. I actually ordered the magnets from Vistaprint and it was super affordable. I was a little afraid that some of the older couples we were inviting were not going to be able to figure out what the numbers were- but even if they did not pick up on the race bib aspect, they at least knew the date!
Engagement Pictures: After the Save the Date we decided to incorporate our running into our engagement photos. Now we got “nice clothes” engagement photos first and then did a quick change and hit up Delaware Park for the running themed shots. Lucky for us we had my amazing cousin, Alexandra Piotrowski, as our photographer who came up with all the ideas for the pictures that we used. Here are some of my favorites in case you needed some ideas for poses!
Invitation: Unlike everything else, I could not find a running themed wedding invitation that I liked on Etsy (shocking I know). So we turned to Gordon once again who swept in and saved the day by literally creating EXACTLY what I wanted. Simple, sweet, and clear, he nailed it!
Pre-Wedding Beer Mile: No I am not kidding. The Thursday before our wedding we had a beer mile and barbecue in my parents’ backyard with all of our friends. The event was name “Chundra,” a play on the beer mile Robert’s college cross country and track teams had (Chunder) and the fact that Buffalo is a tundra. Either Robert or I promise to do an entire post on that whole event, but trust me it was the best way ever to start a wedding weekend and I could not have been more thankful to all of our out of town friends who showed up an entire day and a half ahead of time in order to take part in it with us. We sent out invitations for that as well (because I love keeping USPS in business) and Gordon pulled through a third and final time to make sure we had exactly what we wanted. Oh yes and costumes were encouraged.
Table Numbers: I could not decide how I wanted to do our table numbers for the longest time. I went back and forth on using names of the races we have run together, locations of our favorite running spots, or using running bibs. Robert has kept every running bib he has ever earned so we had a ton of numbers to choose from if we used our own. He was nervous about using our own because of the risk of losing them in the hustle and bustle of wedding day. I was wary of the numbers not actually being sequential if we used our own and the fact that I would have to frame them and then they would have to be low on the tables which makes them difficult to see when people are looking for their tables. I eventually decided to simply make my own bib using a free template I found in a Google search and then backed them on either coral or gray card stock, which were our wedding colors, using double sided tape to prevent bubbles.
Dessert: I do not like cake and did not want to have any cake at our wedding, but knowing we had to have something to cut into and that some people do like traditional cake I did get a small round that we could use for the ceremonial cake cutting. In doing so I opened myself up to the ability to get a cake topper that portrayed us doing what we loved. This was one of my splurge items in the decorating process and I am so happy I went the custom route with our topper. Once again I found an Etsy seller who made custom clay toppers. She was amazing and got the details down to the actual sneakers we owned being what we were wearing in the topper. We had this on display in our house in Buffalo and I definitely will have it out again when we get a house down here. Besides the little cake that we had I got cupcakes made in various flavors for people to enjoy- I also had to go boxes available in case people did not want them during the event but would enjoy one later. We worked with a local bakery in Buffalo to get custom running themed toppers on each of the cupcakes including a race bib with the wedding date, a coral medal, and sneakers. They turned out beautifully and tied in the running theme perfectly.
Favors: I once again found a shop on Etsy that made stickers using photos and ordered some in order to put them on the back of our favors. Robert’s favorite drink is whiskey and I love wine so our favors were bottles of those tied with ribbons in our wedding colors and then we put the sticker on to incorporate the running theme while still trying to keep it classy.
Attire: I chose to wear my cowboy boots at the reception because as much as I love my sneakers, my boots are what I am most comfortable in and that was how I wanted to be that night. However Michael Henry, my sneaker head of a brother, did want to get Robert into something more comfortable and after a ridiculously long search we were able to find him some sneakers with coral to match the day and Mike was able to get some to match his tux as well. Once they changed the party just kept getting better.
Other ideas: We had our signature drink be named the “Finish Line” with a description of the liquor inside. I cannot find a picture of that, but I just had it in a sparkly frame on the bar. We also had little “fun facts” about us on the highboys around the bar area so that people on either side of our family who may not know a lot about our spouse could learn things about us. Both of ours had running facts on them as well.
To all the runners out there looking for a way to incorporate your passion into your big day it CAN be done in an upscale way. Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot have what YOU want on your day especially if it is something that is such an integral part of your life. Happy Valentine’s Day!