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Thread: The Wedding Thread! Swoon...
May 1st, 2013 01:44 PM #56
I am another Fall bride. My husband and I chose to get married in October 2011 because we love fall colors, and the weather would still be warm enough to take pictures outside (but not so warm we melted in a heavy wedding gown and a 3-piece suit!). Our wedding colors were burnt orange (my fave color!), eggplant purple, and chocolate brown.
I wanted a smaller, more intimate church - preferably with stone (another love of ours) - a church that would be the ideal size for our guest list. I ended up coming across Historic St. Luke's Church in Smithfield, VA. I was very excited to tell my husband about this church as it is located in the same city as his parents. He promptly burst my bubble by responding with, "Yeah...we pass it every time we go see them!" "Say what? Ohhh, you mean the graveyard we pass? There's a church back there???" Haha. St. Luke's has been around since 1632, hence all of the tombstones... We toured the church and quickly fell in love with it. The beautiful interior meant we did not have to spend much on church decorations because we wanted the church for its existing aesthetics. As it is a historic landmark, it is no longer a functioning church...so there were quite a few rules we had to follow. Such as...we were given the site for one hour on "the day" with only an additional 30 minutes before the ceremony for set-up (we were only allowed 45 minutes on the day before the ceremony for our rehearsal). No photography was allowed during the ceremony because the stone walls would cause the shutter and flash to reverberate around the room and it would be distracting (all of our ceremony photos were re-staged). We were not allowed to drop flower petals on the floor (my flower girl - my niece - carried a small bouquet of flowers that matched my bouquet). And after our official hour ended, they promptly re-opened the church to the public, which meant we could have been on display while posing for photos after the ceremony. Thankfully, no outsiders showed up!
We did not realize we got married on Homecoming weekend, so when we arrived in downtown historic Smithfield to take pictures on Hayden's Lane in full wedding regalia...we quickly found ourselves the center of attention from bystanders waiting for the Homecoming parade to begin. We smiled and tried to make the best of it! Our photographer was sooo slow, so we had to skip the third picture location and head to the reception because our guests had been waiting for over an hour already! We ended up at the third location, Smithfield Station, which is a small lighthouse that has been converted into two glorious hotel rooms (that's where we spent our wedding night - so romantic!), after our reception. We were so exhausted that after 30 minutes, we told him we were done.
As for our wedding reception, we truly lucked out. My hubby's father had been suggesting this conference venue in downtown Smithfield from the beginning, but when I looked online, I thought it looked horrible...white linoleum floors, white walls with blue trim...it reminded me of a high school cafeteria! Well, we decided to humor him and look at the site in-person and oh my goodness...it was gorgeous! They had renovated it...wood flooring, cream walls with white trim, burnished chandeliers...but they had failed to post the new pictures online (which I promptly chastised them for). Because my hubby's parents were residents of the county, and because we held our wedding on a Friday, we got the venue for two days at a great discount!
All of our flowers were ordered in bulk through a florist at Costco. One of my best friends from high school assembled my bouquet for me and, even though I think it weighed 5 pounds or more, it turned out so incredibly beautiful! My sister assembled all of the bridesmaids' bouquets. I originally wanted to hire a wedding planner for at least the day-of, but ended up planning and executing everything myself with the help of a few friends, including our centerpieces for the reception. A friend of the family owned a bakery and ended up making our 3-tier, square cake (the layers were chocolate cinnamon with chocolate cinnamon ganache and almond cake with raspberry filling - it was delicious! We randomly discovered her cakes at my husband's grandfather's 80th birthday party...AFTER a full day of cake tasting at other bakeries.). We purchased dark brown wheat bundles tied with burnt orange ribbons to be pew hangers and then those same pew hangers doubled as centerpieces on some of our reception tables. The other centerpieces were manzanita branches I had spray painted gold strung with strings of crystals and votives, set into really tall vases weighted with river rocks. I assembled our ceremony programs with the help of my husband's aunt, adding a personal touch with a fall-colored leaf sticker on each program. In remembrance of another aunt who passed away 6 months before the wedding, we set owl ornaments made of sticks on each table so she could be there with us on the day (she was obsessed with owls and I have now inherited her obsession). Our wedding invitations were purchased from Etsy and looked like old scores of music with purple and orange trees on them (I am a singer, so we had to tie in the music somehow). I also had karaoke at the reception as several of my friends are also singers...and anyone who knows me knows I love to karaoke! ANNND, for wedding favors, we gave away small jars of honey harvested from my husband's parents' bee hives (when I first met my husband, he was obsessed with honey and put it on everything).
Our largest investment was the food - which was so nerve-wracking, because the chef cooked everything in bulk and would not let us do a taste-test before the reception unless we paid him $150. Ridiculous! We took a risk and used him anyways because he offered to prepare a buffet with amazing food for 60 people, provide a full bar (with liquor, craft beer, and bartender), and set up the reception hall for a flat-fee. The food was delicious, but honestly...there could have been more of it. (We found out later that all that was passed during cocktail hour was one tray of cheese and crackers...and our bartender was a little heavy-handed with his pours. So most of our guests were a bit blitzed by the time we arrived from taking pictures!)
Overall, I had an amazing time. All of the stress from the day before the wedding melted away as soon as I arrived at the reception. My husband and I generally do not like to dance, but I danced for hours at the reception and never wanted it to end. I would say our best investment was a DJ! He kept the pace of the evening upbeat and moving. All of my guests loved him!
And now that I have typed a book, pictures:
Centerpiece.jpgRecessing - Wheat Bundles - Church.jpgAwesome Orange Shoes.jpgGorgeous Bouquet!.jpgHeading to the Limo.jpg
More here... http://s948.photobucket.com/user/Kat...0Wedding%20Day
EDIT: I forgot to add - we had a morning-after brunch as a warm sendoff for all of the guests who had traveled to the wedding from out of town. This brunch was graciously prepared and hosted by my in-laws. It was wonderful. We all then departed - our guests to return home and us to head to Massachusetts for our honeymoon!
Last edited by kataklyzm21; May 1st, 2013 at 01:53 PM. Reason: Add'l InfoExpecting bebe #1 in June 2015!
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Mother to three fur-babies: Merlin, Willa, and Grady!
May 1st, 2013 01:57 PM #58
So excited to see this thread! After being engaged for over a year now, we are finally planning a wedding! Christmas 2014 here we come! We are doing red, black and either gold or silver accents. Trying to decide how much Christmas I really want to incorporate. I do not want to spend over 10K because although he will be working, I will still be in school. So far it looks like around 80 guests, hopefully not more than that. Probably going to make a lot of the things we need. The things that will cost the most will be The dinner, and the photos, that's what we care about most. Since I work at a Bridal Store I get a pretty great discount that I can put towards all my attire and my bridesmaids dresses which is fantastic to save everyone a good amount of money! Also, December is the off season for many venues, so again, discounts! I know we will have two flower girls and one ringbearer, and I plan on having three bridesmaids. Other than that for now Pinterest and Etsy are my best friends!
Rough n Tumble
Evander 'Anders' Alcott - Thatcher William - Peregrine North - Dresden Alasdair
Pretty in Pink
Natalie Winter - Adelaide Pearl - Hermione Jane - Corisande Fable - Virginia Joy- Odessa Faye
May 2nd, 2013 11:54 AM #60
@sessha- Thanks for the book recommendation! When I'm done reading all the crap I have to read for school, I'll definitely start in. Our planning was all done long distance too. Two of my bridesmaids live on the OR coast (about 6 hours away) and one lives in LA. My parents live pretty close, but still an hour and half drive to see them. I think if I end up planning a full wedding this time around, I'll make use of google+ hangouts or some other virtual meeting software so that we can have group meetings. That was one of the things that was difficult for me, trying to mediate dress negotiations via scattered phone calls!
Ottilie- I had two go-to blogs for planning (or just drooling) 100layercake.com and apracticalwedding.com. Someone else mentioned greenweddingshoes, which is also terrific and wedding gawker, which is addicting (also love craft gawker and food gawker- they have apps too!). And thank the gods of the interwebs for Pinterest. Good lord. I continue to post wedding ideas to pinterest and it's been indispensable for planning library programs for the kiddos and finding recipes and garden ideas- just everything.Under construction...
May 2nd, 2013 12:22 PM #62
Saturday is usually mucho expensive but Sundays can be cheaper, and weekdays even more so if you are going really small. A friend of mine called venues multiple times pretending to plan for different events to see if they added a "wedding-tax" as she liked to call it. Or if they packaged things differently. She actually found a place that had a "family-reunion" rate and a "wedding" rate that incorporated different things. The family reunion rate saved her a couple hundred bucks because of something stupid like extra flowers in the bathrooms or something (so ridiculous - don't even get me started).
Also in the US you can see if placed do discounts for service members and families if that applies to you. Sometimes they will cover military, police and fire departments - usually this happens with smaller venues or shops that have a strong connection to service (but I've seen discounts around 10 -15%).Little Lorelei - May 2016Endora - Merida - Viola - Zelda
Dexter - Felix - Gideon - Victor
May 2nd, 2013 12:44 PM #64Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
- Orange County, CA
1) Don't do *anything* just because "everyone else does it." Just because everyone else does it doesn't mean you HAVE to have it. All you really need is 2 witnesses, an officiator, and a document. Everything else is decoration/celebration. So if you don't want (or can't afford) a big meal, serve appetizers or a dessert reception. As long as you specify what sort of reception it is so people know what to expect, it will still be classy. I didn't have a DJ, because 1) none of our friends/family are big dancers, 2) money, 3) kinda cheesy, so we just had a good friend put together an iPod playlist and lots of people commented that it was the most relaxed, enjoyable wedding they had ever attended*. Of course, if you do want all these things, go right ahead! But do it because you really want it with your heart, and not because you feel like you HAVE to.
*early afternoon church wedding, garden reception with early dinner at a nearby residence, wine/champagne only, no bouquet/garter toss etc., only dances were First Dance and Father/Daughter and Mother/Son.
2) Let your fiance feel included in the plans, but don't push him if he's not as interested as you. My husband was very much of the attitude "I don't care, I just want it to be cheap" but as the wedding drew closer, in some ways he realized he felt like it was all MY wedding and didn't reflect him at all (he ended up loving every moment of our wedding, as did I). "Including your fiance" doesn't mean sticking a "groom's cake" shaped like a football in the back corner. It means deeply considering what is important to him as a person, and to you two as a couple.
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