Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your wedding?
The floral table centerpieces were all DIY and put together and designed by myself and my amazing bridesmaids. We had our florist drop off fresh flowers to fit our bouquets and we had a blast putting them together in little vases that were a mish-mash of styles.
I also used the DIY talents of one of my good friends to design our save the dates and signage for the wedding day, and got our invitations from Minted!
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Aside from the bouquets, the rest of all our floral arrangements were put together by myself and my Bridesmaids the day prior to our wedding! Having lost my mom as a child, I also choose to include a locket with a photo of her tied around my Bridal Bouquet so she could be with me on this big day.
My makeup and all the makeup of my bridesmaids were also done by one of my bridesmaids who is known as “the makeup girl” in our family and friend group, and she did a fantastic job!
My wedding day jewelry also included borrowed heirloom pearl earrings from my Mother in Law which was my “something borrowed” and saved me from needing to purchase additional new adornments.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
I think the words that come to mind most when I think about our wedding day are sweet and joy. Even from the early morning, when my then-fiancé and I woke up and had coffee with my family before the busyness of the day set in, every moment felt so tender.
My groom took off to get ready with his guys and I stayed behind with my girls at my aunt’s house. My aunt had given me a locket that held a picture of my mom on her wedding day and it was so sweet to see her smiling face nearby. My good friend Megan curled and pinned up my hair while my aunt painted my nails and my maids of honor worked on their makeup. At the last minute, we threw out my makeup plans in exchange for some simple pink shades and one bold lip color.
We played some classic wedding morning music (think “Going to the Chapel” and “L-O-V-E”) and some childhood throwbacks (some Dixie Chicks, Cyndi Lauper, and Whitey Houston, among others). Mostly we chatted and laughed for hours. Before I knew it, the girls were in their dresses and helping me into mine. I can still hear my sister chuckling and scolding me to “hold still woman” while she buttoned up the many buttons on the back of my dress.
Getting married at Green Lake on a surprisingly nice day in Seattle means that there are a lot of people around as you walk through the park. I can’t count how many people shouted congratulations and honked or clapped as I walked to the first look spot with one of our photographers.
On the way, we ran into the groomsmen, who all stopped to give hugs and big smiles. I remember the best man saying, “Oh man, Jordan’s going to lose it.” We did our first look on the sandy edge of Green Lake and as I snuck up on my groom, I called out to him, “Can you hear me yet?” I tapped him on the shoulder and the rest is a blur of hugging, laughing, and helping him put on nearly forgotten cufflinks.
We took our wedding photos all around Green Lake, making good use of the newly blooming cherry blossom trees – another sweet surprise that my family attributed to my mom smiling down on me that day. After photos, we hid away in the bridal suite with the wedding party while guests trickled in. I whispered plans to attach my veil with my aunt while we waited for our cue to line up. Jordan hadn’t seen it yet and we made use of the few minutes we had after he started down the aisle to pin it in my hair. I linked arms with two of my aunts and waited for the change in music. My aunt Shelly whispered to me, “Take it all in for a moment.” My aunt Kerry reassuringly squeezed my arm and kissed my cheek.
There’s so much I could say about the ceremony, but what I remember so clearly is smiling at Jordan, squeezing his hands, and hearing him start his vows by saying, “While I’ve only known you for a third of my life,” a moment of bright levity among so many happy tears.
There are so many moments from the reception that stand out to me: sneaking away for sunset photos, a myriad of toasts (both expected and unexpected) that brought us both to tears, pulling my new father-in-law out on the dance floor for “Twist and Shout,” dancing to “The Time Warp” (a family tradition), and splitting a dance with my uncle and grandfather alongside my groom and his mom.
But one that really stands out to me even now is my first dance with my new husband. We took to the dance floor on our cue and started to sway. It took only a few seconds for our confused gazes to meet as we realized the song playing wasn’t our first dance song. We slowed down and I mouthed to our coordinator, “This isn’t our song.” One of our guests heard and shouted out, “This is the wrong song!” Everyone laughed, including us. Soon the music cut out as people tried to find our song as quickly as possible. Someone called out from the sidelines, “You can still dance!” So we danced in silence for a while, laughing alongside our guests. When our song finally did come on, our guests cheered as we reentered the dance floor. It was exactly one of those moments that went wrong, but also so very right.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We arranged our budget to “splurge” on those areas which we felt were the most important, for example choosing a really fantastic photography team was something at the top of Jordan and my’s priority list. We also found some up-and-coming wedding vendors who were fantastic at their services, but who were in the more beginning stages of their businesses, offering a little “bang for our buck.” For example, our amazing coordination team, Marzano Events also provided Officiant services, and they even helped DJ for us from the playlist we had created. Cutting our guest count down to under 75 also really helped save on overall catering costs and created a really intimate feel for our wedding that we loved.
What was your biggest splurge?
Photography! Jordan and I found our photographer team early on in our wedding planning journey and we fell in love with Kate and Dom’s enthusiasm for our wedding. We knew their work was phenomenal and felt that of all the things on a wedding day, the photos are the one thing that you walk away with that lasts a lifetime (except your marriage of course!). We knew investing in photographers would be something we could never regret, so we felt it was the right decision to splurge on this and I think our images prove that we made the right decision!
What were your favorite details?
I really fell in love with my dress. I tried on so so so many, haha! But the one I ended up with was just perfect. I loved that it had delicate lace sleeves and was the perfect mix of elegance and simplicity. While I was in the thick of dress shopping, Jordan jokingly requested my dress not have a fifty-foot train, something he had seen in a lot of the bridal magazines I was looking over. This dress happened to have a small train, which was perfect for preserving that “wow” factor and allowing me to move more freely at the same time.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Honestly, once you find the wedding pros to help you along the way, let them work their magic! We spent a fair amount of time researching and finding the vendors who fit us the best personality-wise and whose work we really loved. Because we trusted them so implicitly, we let their creativity have free rein when it came to a lot of the specifics and the gorgeous services they provided were above and beyond anything I could have imagined!
So, my advice is to start with a general vision, and then rather than spending all your time worrying about the planning process to death, put effort into finding wedding vendors you really trust, and then turn it over to them to do what they do best! It definitely saved Jordan and me so much stress not feeling like we had to micro-manage every aspect of the wedding day, leaving us so much more time to just enjoy this magical time of our lives!