So, way back when, I was asked to write an article about my wedding. I completely forgot about it until I found it in one of my computer files. So, take a trip with me down memory lane...
(more "Getting Ready" pictures here)
I woke up on June 11, 2011 feeling like I never felt before. I wasn’t stressed out (which was a nice change, seeing how I spent the last 6 months/my whole life planning a wedding) and I felt completely at ease. I had every single detail mapped out and I had so much help in making sure it was the wedding of my dreams. My fiancé, Brandon, was with me every step of the way. He included himself in all decisions (without complaining!) and also helped bring me back to reality when I got too consumed with all the details.
(more "Portraits" of the bride, groom, wedding party and family here )
After receiving the ring (finally!) I knew right away that my brother was going to be my “man” of honor and my bridesmaids were just as easy to pick out. I had four friends that have been there for me my whole life. I couldn’t imagine my wedding without them there! Brandon also had his best man and groomsmen chosen. The best group of guys I’ve ever seen! We were blessed to be surrounded by such amazing families and friends throughout the wedding planning and the actual wedding day. The love was definitely felt!
I started my preparation with the two most important elements (besides the groom!) the perfect dress and photographer. David’s Bridal was a dream to work with! They took my online choices, picked out my sizes, gave me a fitting room, and we got to work! I fell in love with my first choice (same old cliché) but, being the indecisive person I am, I still tried on the rest of the 10 selections. Nothing compared to how I felt in dress number one. I was sold! (Plus, GREAT sale!) My mom and dad were there to compliment and help guide me in the big decision. It was such a sweet time to share with them; I know I’ll cherish that forever. I took a risk and ordered the dress one size smaller. I knew I wasn’t at my “ideal” weight, and fitting into my dress on my wedding day was the motivation I needed to get into shape! I was so relieved to cross out “dress” on my checklist. After finding the dress, I decided on a hairstyle and went with a big white flower instead of a veil. I found the perfect hairpiece on etsy.com. I ordered a pair of white Toms and decorated them myself to wear for the wedding. Going with the black, white, yellow theme, I told my bridesmaids to wear whatever black, strapless, above the knee, dress that they could find. I wanted them to be different, but still uniform. I ordered amazing necklaces from etsy.com that I gave to each of them to wear for the wedding. I’m particularly proud of my bridesmaid’s pomanders. I made them myself after brainstorming ideas with my Mom. They were the perfect pop of yellow against the black dresses! The men wore black tuxes with yellow vests and ties from Men’s Warehouse.
Next up, photographer! I spent days researching, emailing, and calling ANY photographer I could find within our budget. WeddingChannel.com was SUCH a big help to me. Not only was I able to search decoration ideas, hair examples, and décor ideas, they had a list of the top photographers in my area! I finally found a photographer with amazing quality of work and a reasonable price. Every time we met, emailed, or called Ashley Daniell, it was such a pleasant experience. My fiancé and I both felt that she understood our style and personalities. I knew without a doubt she would be able to capture all the special moments during the wedding (and she absolutely did!) After finding the dress and photographer, I could have stopped planning and been happy! But, the wedding planning was too much fun (and addictive!)
For the wedding invitations, I found it easier to make my own. Using vistaprint.com, I was able to customize the invitations to where they were exactly how I imagined. The prices were great and the process was easy!
(more "Ceremony" pictures here)
As far as the ceremony and reception decorations went, I wanted to keep things simple. Looking through bridal magazines, searching online, and using my own imagination, I fell in love with a “vintage picnic” theme. My fiancé is a youth pastor so we saw it fitting to have our wedding at our church. My colors were black and white, with some yellow thrown in different places. This part was the most fun for me. I spent way too much time (and money) in Michaels, JoAnn Fabrics, and Wal-Mart.
For the ceremony, I had two ladders on stage with green vines and yellow fabric draped throughout, making an arch to be the centerpiece. My Grandfather made 4 panels from wood and burlap fabric to place between trees we brought in. This took up space on stage, and hid the not-so wedding-like choir chairs! We had a small table under the ladders to hold our unity sand and a small picture of my Mamaw, who died a month before the wedding. I knew she had the best seat in the house and was smiling down on us! Down the aisle, we had black and white rose petals. Along the pews, we had lanterns hung by big black bows. It looked as though we brought the outside, in. Perfect for a picnic! My long time family friend did the beginning of the ceremony so my Dad could walk me down the aisle. Then, my Dad took over and completed the rest of the ceremony. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what was said in those thirty minutes. I was completely tuned into my future husband’s face. Seeing him so emotional and knowing that every tear and every smile was for me, was perfect.
(more "Reception" pictures here)
We dismissed the guests to head towards the reception and the wedding party and families finished taking pictures. When the guests walked into the reception area, they saw an old desk with small vintage items on top (my Mamaw’s gloves, children’s books from the 30’s, and a large plate with our initial on it.) We opted out of a traditional guest book and went with a guest vase. I had a basket of river stones and white pens for each guest to sign. After the wedding, I put all the stones into a large vase. It’s a beautiful piece I get to display! To keep with the “vintage picnic” feel, my Aunt made pennants out of my Mamaw’s old scrap pieces of fabric to hang from each window and across the food tables. Anywhere you looked, you’d find burlap, mason jars, chalkboards, wild flowers, and baskets. I loved the whole feel of an inside picnic (without the Florida sun!) On each table, I had white draping tablecloths with a square of burlap on top. The centerpieces were simple, a mason jar full of wild yellow daises, a birdhouse, and a white picket fence. My fiancé and I decided on having an afternoon wedding. That way, we didn’t have to bring in caterers for a full meal and we were able to keep things simple (and cheap!) We went with a dessert buffet and an ice cream bar. Ladies from our church brought in their favorite homemade goodies (free!) and we set up two kinds of ice cream with all the toppings you could imagine! I personally don’t like desserts, so we had a platter of Chick-fil-A nuggets for my fellow non-sweet tooth friends. We ordered our cake from Wal-Mart. Since we had many desserts, we weren’t too worried about having a cake big enough to feed all of our guests. It was the perfect size for the traditional “cake cutting” pictures. A friend of ours built a photo booth for the reception. I ordered some mustaches, glasses, etc. from etsy.com. It was definitely a hit! Our reception was short and sweet and after an hour or so of meeting and greeting, Brandon and I escaped through the bubbles and went off to finish our pictures with the photographer.After spending an hour in the state park, getting the last few shots for our photographer, it finally hit me. I’m married! I had been told time and time again that your wedding day goes by so fast, and I never believed them until now! Driving to our honeymoon location with my husband was the best feeling in the world. It didn’t matter that we didn’t get our first dance as planned, it didn’t matter that my bouquet came to me completely wrong, it didn’t even matter that I forgot the bouquet toss, what mattered was I was married to most amazing man in the world and nothing could have ruined that! (P.S. The wedding dress fit!)
(more "Couple Shoot" pictures here)