I wouldn't call myself a DIY bride. There were things that I made, sure. But I didn't want my entire wedding to look like an arts and craft project. So I made what I could and activated my sixth sense (finding fancy-looking things for less) for the rest. I remember thinking I could never do this without a wedding planner, but looking back, I would've probably hated myself for spending the money on one.
If you're new here, it should be noted that I am utterly obsessed with gold. So there was no surprise that my wedding was meticulously accented with as much of it as I could get away with. While gold compliments most colors, emerald just made as much sense as chick-fil-a sauce on chicken minis. So, bridesmaids dresses were emerald.
Here are a few details shots:
Etsy, Hobby Lobby and I became very close during the process (well, I live in Hobby Lobby on regular days, but even more so then). You don't really notice until you're looking, but gold sashes/belts are hard to come by in actual stores. Luckily, I found the perfect one from FabulousStyleDesigns' Etsy shop.
My shoes were compliments of DSW. Shoes were the last thing I bought for my wedding day look. And at that point, I was over-it, broke and just didn't have the energy to look any further (also, my dress covered them so who cares, right?), so I settled on the Audrey Brook Sarah Pump in champagne.
In addition to traditional vows, Patrick and I decided to write our own and share them during the ceremony. I ordered these super cute vow books because why would I order anything other than super cute vow books to write my vows in?
Wedding look details:
- Dress - Winnie Couture
- Dress hanger - DIY
- Sash/Belt - Etsy
- Shoes - DSW
- Cathedral length drop veil - Etsy
- Garter - Hobby Lobby
- Brooch Bouquet - DIY
- Earrings - Sam Moon
- Bridesmaid's robes - Amazon
- Reception shoes - Keds (similar here)
I've never been much of a flower girl (please don't shoot). It's not that I don't appreciate their beauty, but I guess the fact that they die shortly after paying an exorbitant amount of money for them makes it hard for me to internally justify the ROI. I'll never forget attending an old friend's wedding a few years ago and seeing her reception decked out with beautiful flowers. At the end of the night, as the room cleared, she frantically asked her mom "Mom! What about the flowers?!" Mom: "We have to leave them!" Bride: "But... they cost so...." Mom: "I know." At that moment I was like "NOPE!" Not signing up for THAT disappointment.
I think I found a way to incorporate elegance without the excessive flowers. I opted for gold manzanita branches with hanging crystals for my tall arrangements, and an assortment of hydrangeas sprinkled in-between. The flowers I did have consisted of two huge arrangements I used at the ceremony (and later moved to the reception), bridesmaids bouquets (+ boutonnieres & corsages), and the small arrangements throughout the reception tables.
I didn't want to over-do the green. It's a pretty powerful color. So I kept it simple and went with emerald napkins. It worked well with the gold, blush and ivory tones sprinkled throughout the tablescapes.
I used escort cards for guests seating assignments. I decided to name each table after a luxury car make -- because Patrick is in the car business and because it's #afancyaffair2015, duh.
The huge 7 foot standing photos were actually produced by a vendor of mine. I do event marketing, so I work closely with trade show vendors. Our rep was so sweet to have our engagement pictures printed on meter boards for us. I thought that was a unique touch.
Funny story (funny now, not so much at the time): I've never posted a picture of my cake on the internet. Here's why. If you read Part 1, you know that I had the wedding morning from hell. I cried so much I think I ran out of tears before I got in my dress. Well, once the tear well had dried and things were seemingly going more smoothly, my entourage and I walked across the street from the hotel to the venue. Me being me, I put in a request very early on to see the final setup before anyone else did. I walked into the reception space and something was...off about my cake. Confused, I turned to my day-of coordinator and just had a look of dismay on my face. She explained that the baker was running really late and...my cake MELTED in her car. Wait WHAT?! "But don't worry, she said she's going to give you a full refund!" Yeah, no kidding. Basically, my five tier cake was now a 3 tier cake because the other two tiers MELTED IN HER CAR. So, they put the ruined tiers in the back to slice and serve. At that point, all I could do was shake my head. The well had run dry, I tell you. I almost asked them to remove that atrocity completely, but my bridesmaids talked me into thinking that it "wasn't that bad."
But wait, there's more...
The cake was a flub, but I got over it because...well, marriage is more serious. And because what could I do? Home girl (the baker) had already peaced out, my ceremony started in an hour, and surely there wasn't enough time for her to re-bake a cake so... the show went on. Until it came time to actually cut the cake.
My day-of coordinator confirmed several times that the top tier was real and the other tiers were dummies, so Patrick attempted to cut, my hand on top of his. "It won't cut!", he said confused. "Babe, let me see! I can do it." I couldn't do it. He was right. The knife was NOT slicing through that cake. Turns out, THE WHOLE CAKE WAS MADE OF DUMMY TIERS (except the parts that melted of course). So they brought us sliced cake from the back for the sake of pictures. Good thing most people ignore the cake cutting or this could've been a lot more embarrassing. Looking back at the pictures gives me a good hearty laugh now. Pay special attention to the onlooker's faces. Enjoy.
While I would have reeeeally preferred a pretty cake, I don't think I could've had a more entertaining cake cutting story had things gone according to plan. So for that, I'm grateful. Also, I couldn't tell you if it was good or not. After that one bite, I never had another one. And I didn't realize that until probably just now.
This was part 2 of I don't know how many. Stay tuned! :)
Photography by Matt McElligott.