check it out. check out that swagger up top. almost as much swagger as this duck has.
not as much; almost.
FYI, I love this wedding, and I really think you’re gonna love it, too. For starters, it’s not the typical wedding I drop onto the internet’s face. It’s full of peacock feathers, button bouquets, lace and button boutonnieres, galoshes and just general DIY adorableness. What I’m excited about is that the bride is pretty hilarious, and her write-up is jam-packed with important details and advice. It is as refreshingly informative as it is amazeballsly amazeballs.
But before we get to that, I feel I should tell you something. Now, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but today’s Friday. And this fact could not be more timely or exhilarating, because I happen to be primed and ready to engage position number five ↴
POSITION NUMBER FIVE ENGAGED. WE ARE GO. (TIE OPTIONAL.)
Quick aside: I’m having some weird trouble spelling today, so please just bear with me. Or is it bare with me. (See what I mean.)
Ok, so, if you’re not feeling as chipper and ready-for-anything as Mr. Stick Figure mandates above, kindly explain to me why the heck not. I mean, was yesterday not International Kissing Day? Thursday practically alley-ooped you into Friday. (Ally-oop? Alayoop? Antidisestablishmentarianism? Aleeyoup?) Now, I get that calling a random Thursday “Internat’l Kissing Day” makes comparable amounts of sense to sitting in his and hers bathtubs in nature and holding hands to push erectile dysfunction medication. But how ’bout we just go with it, and buy our greeting cards, and do our part not to hate, but instead to participate… and potentially fornicate, as kissing tends to lead to? Oh, this is not the case in your world? I see. I see. Looks like I’ve got an appointment with a therapist come Monday! Hehe! Heh. Hmmmm. But yeah anyways I gave into Internat’l Kissing Day and did my part by kissing my French Bulldog. And the rumors are true: eet wuz magnifique, mes amies. Zey rilly due know how to keez. I truly hope you did your part and kissed internationally as well.
By the way, as I blog this I’m listening to John Mayer. *slaps self*
Ok, so to get wedding blog relevant for a second… we’re like totally rocking a reader question today. Hollaaaaa. It’s because you guys voted “Yes” to this new feature when we asked if you’d like to see it happen with relative frequency, but also because who doesn’t enjoy dolling out advice, and being asked to do so, no less. This is essentially a dream job. So here we go, with the latest in wedding inquiries… and then I’ll delicately place in your laps an unbelievably stellar wedding situation that beyond perfectly speaks to the reader question we’re featuring right here right now. YES! Yes, I know. Too good. Aright enough chit chat LET’S DO THIS.
PART I ~ QUESTION FROM A READER
We’re getting married this winter and we decided to do a mostly DIY wedding. My friends/bridesmaids said they’d help out, si I’m definitely not alone or anything, and my fiance is contributing by building a backdrop with my Dad for the ceremony, which I’m really excited about. (It’s a dream come true to have him and my Dad work together on something for our wedding. It gives me shivers and almost makes me cry just talking about it!) Anyway so let me bring you up to speed on how all that’s going. I’m four months out from W-Day, and I feel like I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown under the weight of it all. I could scream. I HAVE screamed, at times when I’m by myself and feeling crazy and like I’ll never finish. I never realized how much time it takes to get these crafting “ideas” to go from “ideas” to “on my dining room table ready for the wedding.” My friends have helped a bit, but they have busy lives, too, and I feel bad asking them to help more. It feels like each project turns out to be extremely time-consuming, and it’s even painful at times, emotionally and physically. :(
I want your honest advice – in the end, will it have been worth it to do it mostly on my own? Or should I start looking at other options.
Thanks, and love you! -S.
Well for starters I love you, too. Now. I hear from and talk to countless brides every day who are having/have had DIY weddings, where they crafted nearly every nook and cranny of their event. In fact the gorgeous bride in today’s featured real wedding has some excellent advice on this topic, which is why I’ve paired it up with your question. ← SYNERGY WIN. I strongly advise reading her blurb for a first-hand account of how another DIY bride dealt with this LIKE A BOSS.
Back to my answer – the vast majority of DIY brides I hear from tend to feel the following two things about how their DIY weddings all came together:
- beyond amazingly happy
- completely effing exhausted
Personally, I adore DIY weddings, from those where the bride has crafted one or two meaningful things, all the way over to instances where the bride has done back-breaking work during every available moment to make it all come together. DIY weddings allow you not only to save $$$ (assuming you’re not spending more on the parts than you would by just freaking BUYING the thing), and they allow you to infuse bits of yourself into your big day. It’s a beautiful thing. A LABOR-INTENSIVE, beautiful thing.
I’d love to give you a definitive answer, since you’re asking me to tell you how you’re going to feel when it’s done. But unfortunately I can’t tell you how you’re going to feel, or even how it’s going to go, definitively. What I can tell you is it’s hard work, especially if you’re taking on so many bits and pieces, as it seems based on your email. It’s a love affair with something that doesn’t love you back until that one day, but it loves you like crazy for that day, in a way that’ll make you cry so hard it’ll shock you. (Assuming you haven’t procrastinated ← this is essential.)
Do me a favor and consider these factors:
- are you a procrastinator?
- are you a crafty person; do the projects come easy to you?
- will your bridesmaids be willing/able to give you as much assistance as you think you need?
- are you good at accepting help from others, or do you need to be in control of each project?
Now, I was serious about reading up on today’s bride’s write-up. She’s got some great advice for DIY brides in there. Take note and good luck!
… I’m turning it over to you guys…. what are your thoughts?
PART II ~ THIS STELLAR WEDDING, SON.
The fabulous Gina Meola of Gina Meola Photography submitted the intense creative excellence that is this wedding, and I challenge you to find one bit of it that isn’t fun, cute, festive, creative and filled with cool, good people. If you do actually find ‘one bit,’ just email it to me, though – because I’m not actually serious and that would be a ridiculous thing to do. But also because you won’t, you won’t find anything that isn’t all of those things! Gina captured this wedding PERFECTLY, and I adore her based on this work, alone. She’s also pretty in the FACE. But that’s so not why I dig her. Honest. I’m superficial about my reasons for liking people only on alternate Wednesdays. Anywhoooooo…
Here’s the stellar rundown from our beautiful bride, with some amazing tips at the tail end for DIY brides in particular:
We met in the middle of the Cherokee National Forest and 3 years later got engaged in that same place. Nic and I had dealt throughout our relationship with the costs of airfare, 20 hour plane rides, a 7 hour time difference, a few phone bills that might have paid for our future children’s college tuitions, a small misunderstanding about whether or not chicken counted as a vegetable, and then an 11 month engagement period where the U.S. and South African Government denied Nic entrance into the United States. So I waited States side hoping we would be together for at least one of the wedding dates we had picked out. Each date came and went and each of my wedding themes and colors changed as the season changed. But here we are now, and I would not have traded our summer wedding for any of the other seasons we had picked out. The lessons we learned in patience and communication were there for God’s bigger plan and our wedding was an out of this world celebration of a freedom in Christ and an ending to what seemed like the longest separation ever… so here we are now a rainbow of colors and themes away from what our original wedding plans were but none of that really mattered because we are together!
I spent months telling myself that I was torturing my fingers, developing a minor case of carpal tunnel syndrome, sleeping very little, and contemplating turning my elementary school art classroom where I work into a sweat-shop of paper flowers and buttons all in the name of “finances”. But crafting for our wedding turned out to be my therapy. It gave me great joy to incorporate family and friend heirlooms into each element of our wedding. Don’t get me wrong there were definitely moments when I would walk into the elementary school and thought…If each kid in my art class made just one little flower I would have 300 flowers at the end of the week and POOF no more work for me, but due to the threat of child labor laws and not really being sure if those applied in this situation, nor if a 4 year old would have the motor skills to cut a spiral, I paced myself and rounded up friends and family to help me out on all the cutting and crafting that went into the decorations at the wedding.
I started first by making the bouquets which were made from my mothers wedding dress and buttons. How many moms can honestly say that the wedding dress that they saved for all those years in hopes that their bouncing baby girl would wear it on her wedding day took into consideration that puffy sleeves and Princess Diana trains would probably go out of style? My mother being one of the more toned down brides of her time had a beautiful dress, but unfortunately some where along the way it had started to turn the color of a watered down pink Koolaide…So we chopped it up and salvaged the great parts. The guy’s boutonnières were a piece of cake once we had finished the bouquets.
When our second wedding date passed us by, I realized I still had some more time to craft so I whipped up some jewelry for the girls to wear that would match their dresses. I let the girls pick the dress they liked, each being so different in style and taste. My only job there was to make sure the colors didn’t clash and they could work for any season.
I wanted all my guests to have something to take home from the wedding handmade, so I made all the women a paper flower brooch on their place card, and all the males got a hand carved animal from Africa thanks to a fiancé who also needed a few tasks to do to keep him busy. So while he was haggling in the markets of South Africa for animals, I was developing some very nice calluses States side.
All the other details just came together beautifully. Gina and Marcus Murphy (Gina Meola Photography) were my phone support when I was feeling down, Gina reminded me on a weekly basis that the wait would soon be over and she and Marcus would be in our faces with cameras soon. My sister/Matron of Honor did a fabulous job on creating our paper tree guestbook. The cake came together over a phone call where I insisted they just make it gorgeous like they usually do and that I would love what ever they came up with. Thanks to Sprinkles & More by Haley Shields! Two of my dear friends Deb Gruner and Leslie Petree really helped me to wrap all the themes together with the sewing of pennant flags and table decor!
Nic and I had so much love, support and prayers and helpful crafting hands from friends and family that when our special day came it was so unbelievably exciting and happy we are still giddy thinking about it. Having Nic in the country finally is like coming up for a breath of air! And we cannot thank everyone enough!
1. If you are into doing a wedding DIY style make sure you set limits, at one point I was at a craft show scoping out ideas for the birdcage vase/hair pieces of my dreams that I would later come home and whip up and one of my beautiful friends leaned over and politely said “Girl, you have to chill out! Support some of the other artists in town and give your blistered hands a break!” She was so right. My peacock feather hairpiece was beautiful and the best part was I didn’t make it.
2. Hire a Wedding coordinator for the weekend! Foxy Events was a lifesaver for us! They asked us at our first meeting what our goals for the wedding were…we responded with “We want to be guests at our own wedding.” When I stepped out of the car from our rehearsal to see the dinner all set up in our front yard, I couldn’t actually believe it was our house, that is how wonderful a job they did!
3. When people request to help you with anything, ACCEPT! Letting people help gives you a break, and it also allows them to give which is so wonderful! Let them know how important they are to you by allowing them to give!
You guys, sparklers rule. They just do. So do happy couples smiling at one another at the end of their amazing wedding day while sitting at the piano. Among the best things in the world. And now, for my favorite image of the day…
… because I’m a sap for love. When it involves anything resembling succulents. But also the love part.
And now, your Friday MEGA-INSTALLMENT of A Day in the Life of Bambino McPuppyPants…
Bambino finds your argument to be invalid.
Congratulations on getting through that marathon of a post! Sincerest apologies for the length; I seem not to be able to edit out anything today, which is disconcerting since I’m sort of the Editor. Anywhosit, here are your topics!
1) Do you have any thoughts on Miss S’s situation? Words of wisdom, opinions, or hindsight advice. She could definitely use it, methinks.
2) What do you think of this totally awesome wedding? I adore the group shots; they make me giggle and they’re beautiful = best case scenario for me re: pictures. I also love the bride’s killer tips on how to best go forward with your DIY wedding. She’s got that knowledge on LOCKDOWN!
xoxo! - Alison
P.S. – GIVEAWAY EXCELLENCE. NEXT WEEK. BE THERE. OR, BE HERE. YEAH HERE. BE HERE!
Photography: Gina Meola Photography / Submitted via Two Bright Lights / Hair Stylist: Studio La Vie / Caterer: Lee Towery Catering / Event Planner: Foxy Events / Reception Venue: green | spaces Ceremony Location: green|spaces