What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
The most personal aspect that was included in my wedding was something I did not know about until the day of when I put on my dress. My grandparents have all passed on and I miss them each, terribly. They all played a vital role in helping me to become the person I am and not having them their physically was very hard for me. My mom had my dress at her house and she took a shirt that was my Papa’s and cut out four hearts. Those four hearts represented the beautiful people who would inevitably have the best seat in the house for my wedding.
She then was looking through the scrap pieces of lace from my dress and came across a piece that looked like angel wings. My dress had the four hearts and wings sewn into the inside, so they were walking with me that day. My guardian angels were present. In the midst of knowing they were there, during the ceremony when grandparents are supposed to be seated, my brother walked down the aisle and placed four red roses on four seats, to signify that heaven wasn’t too far away that day.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
We had so many beautiful DIY and handmade projects for our wedding. We are blessed with very talented people in our lives. Our centerpieces, which were cedar wood pieces were hand-cut by Logan’s grandpa, and the flowers that filled our centerpieces were made by my Floral Design class. I am an agriculture science teacher and I teach Floral Design and I thought what better way to incorporate my wonderful career in with my wedding? Those girls worked their tails off to create the centerpieces, corsages, boutonnieres, and bouquets.
Logan’s grandma made all of the groomsmen and the groom’s vests for the day, along with the flower girl baskets. All of those items were stunning! Finally, for our guest book, we wanted it to be a bible that would become our family bible. Each person was to find a verse that they love and sign beside it or just sign it. The handmade piece of that bible was the bible cover. My wonderful husband, Logan, built and tooled a gorgeous leather bible cover. The front says “Cotten” and the back says “Est. 2020”. It is absolutely perfect.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
We decided to have a spaghetti dinner for the reception food, which included spaghetti with meat sauce, salad, and garlic knots. It wasn’t very fancy but it cut the cost of food in half which made a huge difference.
Another thing we did was the decorations – besides the centerpieces being flowers, we had photos of Logan and me on each table. It added a personal touch without affecting our pocketbook.
We also did not rent linens which at first was not my choice because I did not want to have plastic tablecloths at my wedding. But after talking with Logan and finding out rental prices, I decided to go with plastic tablecloths, and our tables and decorations still looked stunning.
We also did not have a DJ. I have a hilarious brother who did the announcing for us and then a friend of ours just worked through a Spotify playlist that we had made and we danced the night away!
What was most important to you two? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?
Our biggest splurge was probably Logan’s boots he wore for the wedding. That was one detail that he really wanted and so we budgeted our money so that he could get a custom pair of cowboy boots made! It was a small detail and probably overlooked by many people, but it was definitely a splurge well spent.
What was your favorite detail?
My favorite detail about my wedding had to be the arbor we were married under. The arbor was brought down from Colorado by Logan’s parents, and Logan’s cousin and his brother also used it at their weddings. It was decorated with beautiful linens and then my Maid of Honor, who also happens to be a floral design whiz made two beautiful floral arrangements on the arbor. I loved the detail and the story behind it.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
I would have to say that I do have two. The first would be looking up the aisle and meeting Logan’s eyes. Those eyes told me everything I needed to know. He was patiently waiting to take me as his wife and love and cherish me until we were separated only by death. I have never been more sure of anything in my life, at that moment.
However, the most memorable that I do want to talk about is the first look I did with my dad. Now, I know many brides do a first look with their dads, but mine represented a whole lot more. In December of 2013, my dad was taken to the hospital only to discover a brain bleed, he underwent surgery. Then in January of 2014, the brain bleed had returned and he underwent a second brain surgery, and this time, he ended up falling into a coma. We didn’t know if my dad was going to come out of it and my entire family relied on prayer and knew that our God worked miracles. He pulled through the coma but with that trauma, it resulted in him developing epilepsy and also he had to relearn how to just live.
From 2014 to now, he has had multiple hospital stays resulting from intense seizures, there were moments in those years where I did not think he would be walking me down the aisle. The day of my wedding, I walked outside to do the first look, I tapped dad on the shoulder and said “you made it!” as he turned around to see me. Tears were shed by myself, him, my mom, our photographer, and everyone else who had been watching. It was the most memorable moment of my entire day because the man I looked up to, the man that helped me realize that my heroes would always be cowboys, was standing there witnessing me in my wedding dress and would be walking me down the aisle and he matched me step by step.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
I know everyone probably says this but DO NOT STRESS and enjoy the wedding planning process. I wanted to enjoy every moment so when I would begin to get overwhelmed, I took a step back for that day because I knew I could come back to it. I would also have to say, do not plan for anyone but you and your significant other. At the end of the day, it is only you two that matter. I know that can be so difficult with family but you want the day to be a representation of the two of you, and not everyone else.