Category Archives: Wedding

Kansas City First Fridays, a September Review

It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated the blog; much of my time has been spent preparing for the KC+ Connect group exhibition at the Hilliard Gallery, in which Cory Hinesley and I went a little over the top with installation. Check out Jenny’s concise review of September Frist Friday and see a peek of one of my images!

Photo credit: David Cedillo Photo credit: David Cedillo

As much as I hate to admit it, when a friend told me he was exhibiting his artwork at a gallery this past Friday, I was not looking forward to going. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely wanted to support him and his artwork, but for me, attending First Fridays has completely lost its luster. I’m not a fan of clueless crowds or mediocrity and I’m sad to say, during my last few experiences with First Fridays, those were my only two take-aways.

Hopeful that the unseasonably cool, soggy weather would keep the masses at bay but unwilling to give up my sweet parking spot near Lydia’s just in case,  I trudged down 18th Street toward Grinders for a beer. It was only 5:30 p.m. but already the place was packed. Tasty beer, loud crowd, moving on.

Confident that my friend’s artwork would not perpetuate my gloomy outlook toward…

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Handmade Gowns for Our Wedding Day


I started my dress search pretty much immediately after we got engaged. My maid of honor set up appointments at several bridal salons in the area, and with no budget or preferences in mind, we went out and tried on everything the world had to offer.

I tried on many lovely dresses, but didn’t fall in love with any of them. I would like one element of this one, a feature on that one, etc. Then, as I started seeing them in bridal magazines, I realized how uncomfortable I would be knowing that my dress could someday be considered fad-ish, dated, or the “it” dress for 2013. Coupled with the fact that I had a tight budget, I realized that I would have to go custom to get what I needed.

When I first heard about Janay A Handmade, I was sure she would be out of my price range. She specializes in eco-friendly fabrics and her dresses are stunning. Finally I decided that it couldn’t hurt to ask. I came to Janay with my budget and to my delight she told me that she could work with it!

Beyond beautiful dresses and a green initiative, Janay is amazing because she works with you every step of the way to ensure your dress is exactly what you want. She was overseas when I contacted her, so we had our first meeting via Skype. I sent her a link to my Pinterest wedding gown board and we talked about what I wanted. She was drawing while we talked, and making changes as I requested them.

Initial Sketch for Lydia by Janay A

Afterwards she sent me an invoice and description. Initially, we planned on organic cotton for the entire thing, but after seeing the fabric in person I felt it wasn’t quite what I wanted. We ended up deciding on organic hemp silk and champagne tulle.

Lydia Sketch with Veil Janay A

Janay’s description:

Lydia’s gown is vintage inspired and elegant. It is created in champagne
tulle over silk/hemp fabric (satin side out).
The bodice of the gown features a wide-set sweetheart neckline that leads
into semi-sheer tulle rouched straps/mini cap sleeves. The bodice drapes
slightly over the belt, with a fitted and structured inner lining for support. A
thin sash accents the smallest part of the waist (sash material tbd)
The back of the gown is cut into a dramatic low V, ending a few inches
above the natural waistline, and has an invisible back zipper. The skirt falls
straight away from the body into a softly flared A-line, and drapes from the
waistband with small pleats (located in side-font and back-center) adding
vertical design lines to elongate the body. Triangle shaped godet inserts of
tulle fabric (two in front and one in back) add more interest to the hemline.
Train of the gown is approximately 1.5 ft in length at the center back, and is
in silk/hemp with an overhang of tulle.
The gown’s skirt has an optional hidden custom dyed tulle underskirt to
add flair and body to the gown (fullness and color tbd at or before first
fitting). Gown is constructed to include boning and bust cups for support. Fully
lined with soft organic cotton. All alterations included.
Includes a floor length veil.

We had multiple fittings throughout the process, making adjustments here and there along the way.

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Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Marguerite was very excited to be Maid of Honor.

Prior to contacting Janay, I had already chosen bridesmaids dresses. They were lovely, but after designing my dress with Janay, I was afraid that they wouldn’t work together because of the different fabrics. I asked Janay if she could make custom bridesmaids dresses for the same price as the ready-made ones I had chosen, and to my delight she said she could. She came up with custom designs for each girl based on what would look best with their body type. I chose pink for their colors and the same champagne tulle overlay that my dress had to tie them together.



There were times when I was nervous. A dress that isn’t completely made can look a little funny. But when it was done, it was perfect!



IMG_2896 copyI adored all of the custom elements.


The veil Janay made had Swarovski crystals added to give it a little bit of extra sparkle.

IMG_2705My maids looked stunning in dresses made just for them.


The champagne tulle had the glowy effect I wanted that was beautiful in the evening light.


When we stood all together, it was obvious that these dresses were made to go together.

IMG_3007Ultimately, the most important test was whether they were danceable. Clearly, they were.

And a good time was had by all.

What’s in a name? How we became the DeMontes


I hinted in our wedding post that there was a story behind our name. When we got married, Jon and I both changed our last name.

When we first got engaged and had the conversation about names, we both expressed that we could go either way. I can’t remember whether or not it mattered to him, but I wanted us to share a last name. In the past I thought I might be a hyphen gal. I don’t want to get in to the politics of it, because that’s not the point, but as a modern woman the symbolism of taking your husband’s name has always slightly bothered me. But I really liked Jonathan’s name, and it was a little too long to hyphenate, so we decided at that point that my last name would become both of our middle names, and we would share his last name.

The more I thought about it, the more I didn’t mind the ol’ patriarchy issue. Mostly because his last name was really cool sounding (it was Piedimonte, say it like an Italian to get the full effect) but also because I really liked the idea of taking a new name for this next stage in life. In the United States, there isn’t really a “coming of age” ceremony that is practiced by our culture as a whole. There are symbolic steps, but we could debate all day whether you’re really an adult at sweet 16, 18, 21, college graduation, etc. While I certainly think it’s different for every person, for me, a wedding is like a coming of age ceremony. It’s a symbolic ritual saying not only that you are grown up enough to make this life-altering choice, but you are mature enough to enter a lifelong partnership with another person. You are no longer reliant on your parents. You are an adult, making your own choices, with another adult. Marriage isn’t for kids. So taking the step in to the next stage of life, it makes sense that your name would change, too. I like that.

Of course, in our culture, it’s (usually) the woman whose name changes. If the guy is going through the same thing, shouldn’t he get a symbolic name change, too?

Jon told me that he had been thinking about changing his name for a while. In the time that I’ve known him (we first met in 2009), he has grown so much as a person. He has completely changed his life around, dropped bad habits, set goals, and is well on the way to achieving them. When we first met, he told me he didn’t think he was ready for a relationship with me (in fact, I wasn’t either). Obviously, by the time he asked me to marry him, we both were.

He wasn’t Jonathan Piedimonte anymore. He wanted to leave that name behind.

Now, before anybody comes in here saying “Well he could have taken your name!” remember that I wanted to change my name, too, so that wasn’t going to work. And Boehr-Piedimonte is just way too long. No, we needed a new name. A name that was ours.

I didn’t want to drop my old name entirely; I’m rather partial to it. I decided to stick with the original idea and keep it as my middle name. For our new name, we wanted to keep Jon’s heritage alive in it. We didn’t want to deviate too far. So we decided to shorten it, tweaked the spelling and capitalization, and came up with DeMonte. Now, what’s really cool about this, is Piedimonte means “at the foot of the mountain.” DeMonte means “on the mountain.” In case you’re not getting it, I’ll spell it out for you: we climbed the mountain.

And that’s how we became Jon and Lydia DeMonte.

Our Wedding

For this blog’s maiden post, I thought it fitting to share the day we became the DeMontes (read about our name change here). There is so much I want to write about—our amazing venue; the custom, eco-friendly gowns; everything we did ourselves; our custom wedding ale; the music; the photography; convincing everyone to trust my vision; our unconventional schedule; how we managed a “Pinterest-worthy” wedding on a budget; and many more things. But all of those posts will come in time. For now, I would like to share, without words, our wedding:

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Venue: The Bingham-Wagonner Estate Photography: Brandon Forrest Frederick, Cory Hinesley, Colin Joseph Burke, Chris Durr Dresses: Janay A Handmade