I love looking at dozens of gorgeous, thoughtful weddings each week, but I feel a bit mixed about it. I compare it to prom - for years after high school I would look at each seasons prom dresses and feel a bit jipped. Why didn't they have dresses that cute when I was shopping for prom?!
Weddings are the same for me. Every time I look at a beautifully planned wedding I think, "Ooooh, why didn't I do that?"
Since I post on weddings all the time, I thought I'd drag out my wedding pictures to share. And as much as I love all the weddings I see online, in retrospect four years later, mine is still very much me. I'm so glad. :)
My shoes and vintage purse (found at a flea market in Seattle)
I loooved my bouquet!
Place cards (brown with gold ink). I wrote them - not perfect calligraphy by any means, but I liked them. :)
Our awesome cake! Two flavors - chocolate with chocolate frosting, and vanilla with apricot. Yum!
My husband made homemade caramels. I ordered the custom labels and cellophane bags online.
My ring. I wanted something flat so I wouldn't hit it on stuff (because I'm a klutz). I still love it!
My beautiful bridesmaids! They had wrist corsages instead or bouquets so they could carry parasols. They walked down the aisle to Madeleine Peyroux's version of La Vie en Rose.
You may kiss the bride!
I call this "cream puff in a car!"
All in all, it was a wonderful affair. We didn't really have a "theme", per se, but I based our color scheme around a special photo album we had - green, brown and cream. I don't remember all our sources now, but it was a very "DIY" wedding, long before the DIY wedding movement had really taken off. It just the easiest way to make sure things were the way I wanted it (hello, OCD), and to keep costs down. By far the most expensive stuff was the food and site rental, then my dress. Besides that, everything else didn't cost that much.
Here's a few tips if you are planning on a DIY wedding:
1) Decide what is important to you
We really didn't want family to be cleaning up a kitchen post-wedding, so we knew we needed to shell out for a site. Music was also SUPER important to us, so I made a burned CD of all our obscure songs for the DJ. AND had a backup! (Besides La Vie En Rose, I walked down the aisle to an Eels cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love", and "All You Need is Love" played when we walked back as husband and wife).
2) Look in uncommon places for your details
Looking for the unique details was one of my favorite parts about planning my wedding. You just have to be willing to find the diamond in the rough (and if you don't have time, use the money for a planner)! I had a great time perusing the flea market for my vintage purse. A ginormous centerpiece wasn't important to me, so I found some cheap cylinder vases at a craft store and filled them with green apples and some brown ribbon. Voila! The green parasols my bridesmaids carried I found online at The Oriental Trading Company. I designed my own invites with envelopes from Paper Source, paper from Office Max, and - believe it or not - Microsoft Paint and Publisher (it's what I had at the time).
3) Don't be afraid to use up-and-coming vendors
Our friend Lori from Images by Lori is the BOMB photographer. At the time, she was an assistant to another photographer and hadn't launched her own business. WE knew how talented she was, and got her for a steal. And then told everyone! (Maybe we should have kept our mouths shut, hehe). Our florist was the wife of a co-worker who did flowers out of her house. We had a couple of glitches, but overall the flowers were exactly what I wanted and gorgeous... and cost me literally a fourth of what I would have spent at the local well-known flower houses.
4) Get a 2-for-1 deal where you can
One of my bridesmaids had gotten married at the same golf course, so I knew that a wedding coordinator was included with the price of rental. And she was good! Too good to pass up, so I got married there, as well. :)
5) Roll with the punches
This really is more of a time/emotional saver than a money saver, but trust me - stuff WILL happen. You will wish you had eloped at some point. But ultimately, you're there to get hitched to your lifemate. So enjoy! The End.