What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
When COVID came and our big wedding plan was out the window, I had to start all over. I knew I wanted to be intentional about what we were going to do and we decided to scale way back, but we still wanted it to feel like “us”. We found a beautiful venue with sweeping views of Ojai Valley that allowed us to incorporate our love for Ventura County with our closest friends and family.
One of my favorite creative aspects was our guest book. Instead of signing a book, we got a polaroid camera and everyone took a photo of themselves and wrote us a note. I love that we have these visual signatures and even more photos to remember our special day.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
My Mum and I did SO many DIY projects for this wedding! We made the welcome sign out of an old frame from a thrift store. We got gold frames and I made all the signs for the guest book, the blessings, favors, cards, and gifts, etc.
My mom added flowers to my aisle sign, put a blanket basket together for me, and spray painted this metal treat holder for my favors that she found at a thrift store. She did the fake floral arrangements on my lanterns and my bride and groom chair signs, and hand-rolled all the silverware with gold leaf wire.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We did a few things to save money, 1st being that I did not wear a traditional wedding dress. I found mine for under $140.00 which made a huge difference in what else we could spend money on. I also am a photographer and I had been doing some photos, social media content work with my florist so she gave me a huge discount on my flowers. I also have a long standing relationship with our photographer and we have taken photos with her exclusively for the last three years. Since we reached out to her about our wedding while she was still newer to doing weddings we saved money there also.
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our biggest was the venue itself. We did a 3 hour elopement package for $495.00 which included all the beverages both alcoholic and non alcoholic, our cake, a cookie tray, pop corn and lavender favors from the venue site. Each guest was an additional $50.00, and an additional hour to make it a four hour event was $200.00.
Our venue also catered appetizer platters which we spent another $100.00 on in addition to bringing some of our own food. The bridal suite on-site was $399.00 plus $85.00 for clean-up. Bringing us to a total of $2,229.00 on venue expenses… but worth every penny!
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail was my wedding bouquet! I am absolutely obsessed with my flowers, they were the flowers of my dreams and my florist really got my vision of this moody, boho but vineyard-esque micro wedding. She knocked it out of the park.
My second favorite detail that really wrapped up the “feel” of being a bride was my wedding dress. I have never seen a dress like it, and while it wasn’t white, I felt 1000% like a bride.
I’ll keep to three… so my final favorite detail was our memorial to our family members and close friends who have passed away and couldn’t be there in person. Our loved ones mean everything to us and we wanted to recognize the impact those people have made on our lives, we know they were celebrating with us from heaven.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Considering we had a four hour wedding / cocktail hour the day really went by in a whirl! But I accidently got a moment alone right before I went to walk down the aisle. We had been so busy leading up to this wedding, and the day of the wedding was filled with so much preparation I didn’t get to take it in. But there I was… in the bridal suite, my mom had just left to go into the other room that lead out to the ceremony sight. I was all by myself before I walked out to meet her and everything hit me. My heart was racing with the anticipation of seeing my Husband for the first time. I was so excited!! I wanted to run right out and get married. Instead I counted to 10, took a deep breath, caught a glance of myself in the mirror and thought… this… this is where the next chapter of your lives starts.
In all the chaos of planning a wedding, I am forever grateful for that unplanned moment of serenity and bliss. The butterflies and excitement I felt in those 30 seconds were more exhilarating and rewarding than any amusement park ride.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
Well, I am on the other side now, but we will be having a second wedding (lol, you read that right!) So I really do get to apply my own advice the second time around.
I want to have the transportation, décor set up and tear down moving like a swiss clock, I will do these by assigning people specific tasks prior to the day of the wedding. I also advise to make a list of photos you want to be taken and to give it to your photographer. The day goes by so fast, and you are often rushing to get through the photos. This resulted in me forgetting to take more family breakdown shots and I missed my opportunity to capture those photos. If I had made a list we would have got them all!