SMART WEDDING | Andy + Alissa | A wedding that keeps costs down and pretty UP… plus, my feelings concerning the Royal Wedding [hint: they're not great].

I’ve sort of got the *coolest* wedding for you today, but you know what?  We’ve got other fish to fry, so first things first.  Because OMIGOD.

↑ I mean, c’mon. ↓

Ok, so can we call it now?  Can we collectively declare that we’ve hit the point of maximum ridiculousness?  Because, seriously, this is getting super ridiculous.  I think the most annoying part is that everyone’s trying to bank on this wedding in THE MOST REDONK of ways, and those tea bags aren’t even the half of it.  It’s totally normal to be interested in how this whole thing unravels – the Royal Wedding is kind of big deal – but… cartoon teabags?  That’s a bit much, methinks.

In fact, the only thing I think is worth doing is that drinking game I’ve heard going around.  If you’re stateside, it’s gonna be hard to stay up during the wee hours of the morning for this wedding anyway, so why not go balls to the wall, as every character on MTV’s The Real World always says, every season, in the most annoying way possible?  Here’s how you play: drink whenever someone draws a parallel between Will and Kate’s wedding and Princess Di’s.  Warning: do not actually do this.  You will be regrettably bombed 7 minutes into the ceremony.  And if you’ve been to college/high school/any party anywhere during your 20s, you know how much that sucks.

By the way, this all reminds me – remember when Prince William used to be hot?  I do.  I think I’d be watching this thing a bit more closely if he still looked like this:

Yeah baby.  Break me off a piece o’ THAT.

Ok, before I get carried away… THIS WEDDING.  Submitted by the fantastically fantastic Deborah Zoe, it’s just as brilliantly beautiful as it is budget-savvy.  I’m actually really digging it, especially since we just said bye-bye to a couple thousand bucks just BOOKING THE FLIGHTS AND HOTEL for our friends’ wedding in Laguna Beach, CA this coming June.  June is a perfect time of year to get married, but it’s definitely not the cheapest, for you or for your guests – specifically when those guests are going to be traveling long distances to watch you wed.  Of course, we’re super duper pumped to fly to Laguna – I mean, if you’ve ever seen Laguna Beach the show (am I dating myself here?), you know it’s totally beautiful, totally bitchy, and TOTALLY the perfect place to get married.  Just be ready to throw money at it every day for the entire time you’re planning that beautiful bitchy wedding! ;)

So anyway, here’s why I love this wedding.  Not only is it lovely, it’s smart.  Andy and Alissa decided to get married in the off-season, which made things much easier, budget-wise.  Not to mention, everyone was available in February, which allowed them to work out some pretty stellar prices with their vendors.

Ok, let’s just get to it, shall we?  I think I’ve blabbed on enough for now…

P.S. – stay tuned for Alissa’s rundown of her big day at the end.  Totes worth it. :)

Hmm… methinks it’s time to BOOGIE DOWN NAH…

Look at that!  I was right.  It WAS time. :)

Now, here’s the rundown of her super cool day from our bride, Alissa:

Well before Andy proposed, I had thoughts of a winter wedding in the back of my mind.  I wanted something unique and memorable and since one of my sisters had a summer wedding and the other had a fall wedding, winter held a lot of appeal.  After we were engaged in June, Andy was pleasantly surprised by how much I wanted to have a winter wedding.  We both have grown up in New Hampshire loving winter and eagerly anticipating every snow storm and we didn’t want to wait until the summer to have the wedding.

With a strict budget and a limited timeline we got to work on planning right away.  Having an off-season wedding made the whole process much easier to work through as we chose our vendors and booked our venue. Everyone’s wedding calendars were empty for February and we were able to get significant discounts on things like catering, the dj and tuxedo rentals.

The biggest inspiration for the reception was our venue, Rivermill at Dover Landing.  Having lived in Dover, we already knew about the space and first saw it when it was a huge empty warehouse with white painted brick and dirty windows.  We knew it had a lot of potential and luckily so did the group that started leasing it in the fall and making renovations.  It was down to the wire when we finally signed our contract 3 months before the wedding and we were their “inaugural” wedding couple 2 weeks after construction finished.

The beautiful space was a showcase in itself so I didn’t want the decorations or the colors we chose to distract from the architecture of the room itself.

I wanted an elegant but not stuffy feeling and didn’t think bright colors would be suitable for winter so we chose charcoal grey and ivory.

Poems were a big part of how Andy proposed so we incorporated them into the décor by using them as table names.  My mother in law went yard sale hunting for different frames all summer and we placed the poems in frames on the tables.

To save money we got all of our flowers in bulk and my sister Sarah and my mom worked very hard to put together boutonnieres and corsages and the bridesmaids all put together their own bouquets the morning of the wedding. Sarah also made my bouquet and arranged all the centerpieces at the reception, thank goodness for family!

For favors we had a wedding photo both made out of a frame that Andy constructed out of molding and drape from the Rivermill.  It turned out to be a lot of fun for guests to get dressed up in different outfits. The costumes and props came from Andy’s family and we had a photo printer set up to print the pictures and a couple friends helped with taking the pictures, printing and putting them in frames for guests to take home. We also kept a copy of the photos and have made a scrapbook as our guestbook.

One of my favorite parts of the day was our first dance when we danced to At Last which was sung by a friend of mine from college which made the song much more personal.

There are so many things that are memorable and special I found it almost overwhelming to think back the day after the wedding and try and pick the things I wanted to remember. While we were flying down to Mexico for our honeymoon Andy and I wrote a list of the little details we wanted to remember about the day.  Everything from losing power the morning of the wedding, doing a “first look” before the ceremony, saying our vows, dancing with our grandparents, and having so much fun we wish we could go back and be guests at our own wedding.  Having a list like that is great to go back to and remember how you felt in the moment, no matter how long ago your wedding was.

So, what do you guys think of this fabo wedding day, eh?  I’m really digging the color scheme, and I love her story!

And of course feel free to weigh in on the Schmoyal Schmedding if you’d like.  No, but seriously, I’m into it, I’m just really, really REALLY REALLY sick of all the ridiculousness involved in profiting off of it.

xoxo!  - Alison

Fun late afternoon addendum in the hizzy: as I mentioned over on Twitterrific, I feel a stupidest-Royal-Wedding-things-being-sold compilation coming on.  All findings welcome.  Tweet me with your suggestions and/or let me know in the comments section of this post.  Either way works.  Love the feedback y’all have been a’ rockin’ on Twitter so far, so I figured I’d bring it on down to bloggeletteville, Justin-Timberlake-style.


Photographer: Deborah Zoe Photo / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / Venues: St. Thomas Episcopal Church / Rivermill at Dover Landing / Florist: Sweet Meadows Florist provided flowers, Sarah of K. Lilly Floral Design did arrangements / Hair: The Salon at 903 / Suits: Suits With Style / Dress: Mikaella / Shoes: Enzo Angiolini / Caterer: Seacoast Catering / DJ: DJ Nate Downs / Cake: My Friend’s Bakery (Lara Vanesco) / Officiant: Simon Wong / Royal teabag images: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

Label(s): Blue, Color, White, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Allison on April 26, 2011

    Prince William can’t help it that he got old, and isn’t hot anymore :)

  2. Alicia@CharityWedding on April 26, 2011

    Not gonna lie… I think those tea bags are hilarious. Especially the fact that there is money flying around Kate- is that what that is?! Money- really?! I agree when Wills was hot all this craziness that she faces might have been worth it. But in just a few shy years he will look just like Prince Charles. A face only Camilla could love. The wedding above is gorgeous- love the pies!

  3. Nicole @Bella Vista Weddings on April 26, 2011

    I couldn’t agree more about the royal wedding. I mean I’m excited for the wedding and to see all of the details, but really we have to have Kate and William tea bags?!?!?! It’s just too much… On the bright side love your real wedding feature today though! :)

  4. Alison on April 26, 2011

    Alicia – you are blowing my mind. That IS money floating around Kate on her tea bag! Egad, that is brilliant! I think I might have gone all the way around to loving it now.

  5. Joy on April 26, 2011

    Ummm…Wills is still hot and if WE are sick of the rediculousness of their wedding teabags and condoms, I can only imagine how sick they are of it. Hopefully, like any couple about to be married, they are loving all the family-fuss that accompanies a wedding. Wishing all newlyweds bliss…..

  6. rachel thomas on April 26, 2011

    i always said harry would be the hot one. and i kind of love those tea bags and want to get ones of me and tyler made. ;)

  7. Cate on April 26, 2011

    Totally agree with you about the royal wedding. I’ve been over it pretty much since it started. But I think I might end up staying up late, cause who can resist getting wrapped up in it, right? ;)

    This wedding is perfection. The photographer captured it beautifully. I’m in love with that doily handkerchief. Such a great idea!

  8. Koru Kate on April 26, 2011

    I’m in love with the florals at this wedding! The birch tree/flower arrangement at the altar is AMAZING. & the centerpieces coordinate so beautifully yet have a style all their own.

    p.s. did you see the william & kate nail decals? UGH.

  9. Alison on April 26, 2011

    Koru Kate – did I SEE them… yup, with all the submissions y’all are giving me over on Twitter, I’ve got a crazy long list of Royal Wedding fails. Very much the making of a superb list of Royal Wedding Ridiculousness. Keep ‘em coming, lovelies!

  10. Lauren Elise on April 26, 2011

    I’m so glad someone said something about this crazy Royal Wedding. We’re totally blowing this out of proportion and the fact that everyone is trying to profit from it is just scary. I’ve actually heard women say that they’re letting their children stay home from school to watch it. Really people, really? Hearing things like this not only offends me as a woman but offends me as a human being. I may be losing all hope in humanity. :(
    On the opposite end of the spectrum…this wedding is not crazy, insane & absolutely lovely!

  11. Jenese on April 26, 2011

    That shot of one of the guests dancing is EPICNESS. Wonderful wedding! They look like they had lots of fun, which is entirely my goal for mine! :D

  12. Cocroft & Delbridge on April 26, 2011

    I am completely in love with the birch vases on the altar…what a stunning natural detail!

  13. Lena on April 26, 2011

    William’s fingers crossed-yuck!

    I can’t imagine being the two of them, getting married in front of 7 gajillion people, but worse yet are all the terrible tchotchkes that come along. That’s not to say there haven’t been some lovely wedding memorabilias made, but most of them are just plain gross.

    In far better news, this wedding is anything but! I love that her off-season wedding doesn’t look the least bit low-budget, and how beautifully it seems everyone came together to make it happen!

  14. Jackie on April 26, 2011

    all i have been hearing is how dreamy this prince is. and then i go throw up. thank the sweet lord above that finally there is someone who agrees! he is not the hottest thing around anymore. back a few years ago? hellz yeahhh. but now? i’d go for the younger, albeit less royal, one.

  15. Shawna Brinkley on April 26, 2011

    this is a little too far –

  16. Rhiannon Nicole {Hey Gorg} on April 26, 2011

    Royal Wedding? What Royal Wedding?

  17. Britt on April 27, 2011

    Ok, so all Royal Wedding comments aside, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Alissa’s bridal gown! It’s one of my favorites that we have here at Wedding Shoppe Inc. in Minnesota! If you’re looking for this gorgeous Mikaella wedding gown, or other designer wedding dresses, visit to see our incredible selection. And, yes, as excited as we all are for the Royal Wedding, the tea bags, really? REEEEEALLLLY??

  18. lizzie on April 27, 2011

    LOVE this wedding. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. i love their minimal style and the whole vibe. everything is wicked. prince william is fugly now. i don’t see the big deal with the wedding. definitely not enough for all the shit going on on etsy right now! it’s ridiculous over there!

  19. This dress is seriously gorgeous!! Also, the floral decorations are brilliant. So beautiful and creative! That cheesecake dessert is looking pretty good right about now… Thanks for sharing!

  20. The bridal bouquets are soo cute! And the white hydrangea flower centerpieces are perfect. Hydrangeas are super popular as wedding flowers and this wedding goes out to prove once again why they are!

  21. Beatriz on August 13, 2012

    I just have a quick question about the center pieces. I think they are so beautiful. Did you go out and get the sticks from a park etc or did you purchase them? Thank you in advance!

    • Elayne on December 19, 2013

      Did you ever get an answer? I would love to recreate those centerpieces, but I can’t figure out where to get sticks/branches like those!

    • Hayley on September 21, 2014

      I was also wondering if you ever found an answer on the centerpieces?

  22. Stephanie on September 19, 2012

    May I ask how big the vases are that have the large limbs and hydrangeas in? I love that look and would like something similar at my wedding, but I don’t have a clue how big the vases should be.

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  24. soy candle on June 14, 2013

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