DIY RUSTIC VINTAGE WEDDING + What I Overheard About Love & Marriage On An Airplane + Floral Print Bridesmaids’ Dresses, All in a Row… | By A Charming Fête

Happy Friday evening, friends!  It is good to be back home from ma travels, and I have a double feature-ish situation thingie going on today for ya eyeballs.  The second half of this post is a killer wedding, and you’re more than welcomed to skip to that if all you want is some visual candy.  All good in the hood by me.  I’m actually psyched for you to see it, and I’m dying to know what you think of it all.  The first part of the post, however, is a personal story about what happened while I was traveling back home from Las Vegas (does that translate to ‘land of virgins’ or is it ‘many vajayjays?’  sorry… I don’t speak Spanish) to nyc this week.  I was seated next to a father and his 11-year-old son.  The boy’s father, divorced, shared unique lessons about marriage with his son; lessons I wasn’t expecting.  Of course, it had to be blogged, and today is when it’s happening.  I’m hoping to hear your thoughts and if you think I’m crazy for having the reaction I did/do.

(Quick note: when you get to the wedding part of this post, please make sure you’re in an enclosed space, like a small closet or parked car or possibly swaddled a bassinet, because this feature is going to blow your face off and I’m concerned about you losing track of your face.)

Ok, here we go.

Let me tell you, this has been the busiest week of the entire month of February so far for me – my birthday was the 2oth, y’all! – but I’m back home and happy to be back to blogging regularly and being reunited with the Honey.  I’m sure you can imagine, traveling to meet up with friends and colleagues you haven’t seen in a while OR you haven’t seen in FOREVER is quite the definition of amazeballs, if one needed a definition.  But the bonus is getting to be excited to come home to Honey and whatever way he’s decided to welcome me back.  This time, as is always the case, I got a welcome back baby Post-It note on the bathroom mirror– a little touch that never fails to make me smile.  Also, it had been about a week of not being in the same country so we got it on.  That was a nice welcome back gift.  And from that I learned a very interesting lesson, which was that Honey can sleep-f***.

It means exactly what you think it means.   It almost rhymes with sleepwalk, and it’s exactly what happened.

After a number of years together you start to think you’re going to run out of new discoveries about one another but I am living proof that this is not the case.  At all, not the case at all.  One day you, too –that is to say if you haven’t already– might learn that your sweetheart can do you while he is essentially half-awake, half dreaming.  Also also, he came to rather quickly.  SHUT UP I DON’T MEAN IT LIKE THAT, I MEAN HE WOKE UP.  I thought I’d mention that he woke up because if I don’t, you walk off today thinking I am the most boring lay in the history of lays.  And for some reason it is important to me that you do not think that.  And now I’m going to stop talking about this because WTF, me.

He also got me a tin of macarons.  Totally the second best gift of all three gifts.

If you haven’t stopped reading already due to what is coming off as the most braggy post I’ve ever written, well then I’m excited to change the subject to that topic I said I was GONNA TALK ABOUT WHEN I STARTED THIS POST OMIJEEBUS ALISON.

The story…………..

On my flight home on Wednesday, I was seated next to a father and his 11-year-old son.  It was Southwest so I checked in early for the extra $10 so I could get ma first pickins of available seats on zee plane.  I have this need for aisle seats.  Anyway, this 40-something father sits down next to me; his son gets the window seat.  How does he start off the flight?  By telling me “you might wanna turn that off” SECONDS after the flight attendant announces to the cabin that we must now turn off all devices.  You can imagine how excited I was to have a pseudo-father-figure forced upon me for the duration of the flight.

ANYWHO.  He was a delight.  He and his son were quite ill — something that was not apparent until a half-hour into the flight, as they violently coughed and sneezed their way to the east coast with me.  The people around me were literally looking at me with pity and shaking their heads for what could be no other reason than to express to me that whatever I was feeling, was justified.  They assumed I was frustrated.  I was.

About half-way through the flight, it came to a head.  The boy’s father, up again to take a walk around the cabin, had released his sneezing son on me again.  You know how there are the kids who are taught to cover their mouths in public, and there are the kids whose parents couldn’t care less about teaching important lessons about being a considerate citizen?  If I had to take a guess as to which school of thought in which this kid was raised, I’d have to go with the latter.  Because every time his father took leave from his position as my human shield, that 11-yr-old boy cocked his head in my direction and away from his handheld playstation, inhaled deeply, and exploded the insides of his head onto my waiting face and body.  I was never able to escape; I was essentially imprisoned by my laptop and a seat buckle.  Each time, when I finally recovered and looked up and around, all of my sympathizers were facing me, shaking their heads and feeling my pain.

So remember how I said it came to a head?  Well it did.  Half-way through the flight, with me saying:

“I have to ask you something, and I say this with the least amount of malice you can imagine…”

I didn’t say “with absolutely no malice.”  On purpose.

“Are you guys sick?”

THE FATHER:  ”…. what… wait, sick?  I don’t know what you mean, are we *sick*?”

Please someone tell me how this guy didn’t get that I was referring to being physically ill, and that I was so incredibly clearly NOT referring to him and his child being sick in the head.  Because the vibe he was giving me was one you’d expect if you’d asked someone if he was a masochist.

ME:  ”… heh, no I don’t mean ‘are you masochistic,’ I’m asking if you and your son have colds.”


ME:  [Not convinced.]

So I just stayed there, in my seat, choosing to be reassured by the least convincing assertion I’ve ever heard.  What possesses me to leave myself in such situations?  I do not know.

ANYWAY.  Here’s the thing I really wanted to get to.  It’s what I overheard with about two hours left of our flight.  The two were loud talkers so *eavesdropping* is hardly what I’d call any of this.

It was a lesson about marriage, and the fact that it, and love, might not last.

The boy asked his father something about why people divorce.

The father, who I was picking up on as a divorced man, told the boy that love often doesn’t last.  That two people can fall out of love with one another, and then divorce happens.  That often, two people fall in love too quickly, too easily, and they rush into something that isn’t really meant to be.

Ok.  I agree with the basics of those statements.  But something felt missing from that brief lecture he gave.  He mentioned nothing of the need to work to maintain a relationship.  Nothing of what it takes to have a successful marriage.  Nothing of the value of trying to make it work.

He simply asserted over a series of sentences to his 11-yr-old son, when asked why people divorce, that love often doesn’t last.  And that divorce is the inevitable next step when that happens.

It kind of broke my heart.

But then this next part came along and it completely broke my heart.

THE BOY:  ”But Dad, S. and J. just had a baby, and they seem happy and in love still!”

THE FATHER:  ”Yeah but they’ve been married only a few years.”


I couldn’t believe his response.  Look at what he’s setting his son up for in life.  The expectations this child will have, or not have, in his pursuit of love and happiness.  While divorce and all matters of love are unique to those who are experiencing it, I CAN say with absolute certainty that the above is NOT how to lecture your child on the sustainability of relationships, and matters of the heart in general.  That man must have been a dream to be married to, eh?  An absolute dream.

What do you guys think of the man’s answers to his son?  I’m interested to hear if I had a pretty normal, or unique reaction.

Now, we move on to the beauty part of today — this freaking wedding situation!!  Submitted by A Charming Fête, the creative design magic behind this wedding, and snapped by RAD Photographer, the event made my eyes pop out not unlike myriad cartoon characters from my childhood.  Don’t make me name one; I’m not good with names.

First, a rundown from Lindsey, that GORGEOUS bride:

My sister Lisa (of A Charming Fête) and I share the same brain so we immediately started swapping ideas back and forth on how to achieve our dream wedding on a budget. We found the perfect venue (The Club at Hillbrook). It offered a completely natural and rustic setting but with access to the main house, a vintage paradise that acted as an excellent home base since we were out of town. I knew immediately I wasn’t the type of bride to pick just a color scheme or theme …but a particular sense of style to the wedding. I wanted everything that we love represented… The outdoors, personal family connections, creative uses of things, relaxation– nothing too forced. I wanted people to feel like they were outside. I wanted every element to feel effortlessly beautiful and natural. I wanted the tables to feel rustic and “green” with a touch of vintage. I wanted the colors to make people feel relaxed. I wanted it to feel elegant but not stuffy. I wanted people to smile at all of the little DIY creative things that we put into it. With such a beautiful backdrop as nature.. who needs a ballroom.

And now a detailed rundown from Lisa, of A Charming Fête:

Lindsey and Pete’s wedding was a major DIY creation with so many amazing detail elements. Their wedding style was very natural with a rustic-vintage feel. The couple wanted everything that they love represented… The outdoors, personal family connections, creative uses of things, relaxation– nothing too forced. They wanted every element to feel effortlessly beautiful and natural – tables to feel rustic and “green” with a touch of vintage – the colors to make people feel relaxed – elegant but not stuffy. They wanted people to smile at all of the little DIY creative things that were put into it. The couple lives in Portland, Oregon but opted to have the wedding in Ohio, near the bride’s hometown.

Ceremony:  The ceremony took place near an old ‘tea house’ structure on the property. The grass covered space had stone ledges around the perimeter. Guests entered the ceremony through a cast iron gate and hand-cut tree trunk/logs topped with vintage mason jars lined the aisle. The couple’s exit song was Coldplay’s VIVA LA VIDA performed by a string quartet.

Flowers:  The bride’s sister, Lisa (of A Charming Fête) created the bouquets and boutonnieres as well as provided all floral for the reception. We wanted the flowers to be very natural looking with greens, bushy whites and little pops of yellow (the billy balls were the perfect compliment). We picked half the flowers from a local wildflower field 2 days before the wedding! The bride’s bouquet was wrapped with vintage lace that we removed from her mother’s wedding gown. The bridesmaid bouquets were hand-tied with burlap. The boutonnieres were yellow billy balls and green berries tied with twine.

The Bride’s Look:  The bride wore a white lace fit and flare gown by Tara Keeley. The lace really had a vintage feel to it but was very rich in texture. The bride wore a flower in her hair from the English Dept in Portland. She also made her own birdcage veil for the ceremony!

The Bridesmaids:  The floral print bridesmaids dresses were designed by Leifsdottir (and purchased at Anthropologie). They were definitely a twist on the traditional style bridesmaid look.

Escort Cards and Display:  We used an old typewriter font called “My Underwood” (used throughout reception) to type all of the guest’s names and then pasted them onto coffee-stained hang tags. The tags were clipped to rows of twine with mini clothespins and strung onto old vintage windows/door. The old windows were actually found on the side of the road!

Tables and Reception Décor:  We purchased the jumbo “L&P” letters from a craft store, painted them white and draped a bunch of hand-torn fabrics and recycled tin cans to add some texture. The bride’s uncle created the huge wooden direction sign (pointing to special cities for the couple) plus other custom wood signage for “ceremony/Games/Wedding” signs that were around the venue. The guest book was hand-carved (not by us) and purchased from etsy.  All of the family wedding photos (grandparents, parents) were displayed on the welcome table with a collection of vintage clocks, vintage suitcase and an old tuquoise typewriter (etsy). We used burlap table runners over ivory linens and placed a DIY branch-stump at each place setting to serve as the placecard holder. Mason jars wrapped with fabric and recycled cans with an eclectic mix of florals lined the center of the tables. Recycled wine bottles were used as table numbers. The menus were also DIY, printed and backed with the perfect fabric to compliment the tablescape design. Each menu was 2 pieces clipped together with a mini clothespin. Seam binding (much less expensive than ribbon) was tied to the back of the chiavari chairs and a custom mr. & mrs. burlap banner.

The Dessert Table:  The eclectic dessert table took on a life of its own! We dressed the table with 4 different patterned fabrics, tons of dessert holding vessels (include 3 DIY tree stump cake stands) There were 3 small wedding cakes with the main one style with a birds nest topper with fabric “cake banners”. There were 3 different flavors of cupcakes all complete with DIY cupcake flags, hundreds of Italian wedding cookies, pies, cake pops and even Hoho’s!

The Food:  The bride and groom are total foodies and served up an amazing menu to their guests. Hor-dourves included lamb burgers with Mint aoili, Bacon Wrapped Dates, Brie and Apple Chutney purses and Caprese Salad skewers. They also served Olympic Provisions Salami (handmade in Portland) and my grandpa’s hand-made hot Italian peppers. This was then followed by an amazing 3-course dinner.

Favors:  Lindsey and Pete made a donation to Karma Rescue in Los Angeles (the rescue group they volunteered at before moving to Portland –and adopted 2 dogs from). We gave each guest a recycled box on their chair with this messaging on it:

A donation has been made in your name to Karma Dog Rescue in Los Angeles, California.  Please use this “doggie bag” to take home some biscuits (we mean cookies and treats) to enjoy later.

The couple also rented an amazing photo booth for their guests to enjoy.

The bride also handmade the invitations, save-the-dates and programs!!!!

Invitations:  She used GMUND brand paper (found featured on a paper blog) and started browsing their website. She used the Savannah -wood textured paper. It looks like tree bark!  She designed and printed the invites. She used a painting of a tree by Robert Sloane and got his permission to “carve” the little P+L in the tree. She also created the maps and got the inspiration from an artist named Laura Hooper (but since she was watching her budget, she decided to draw her own!) Vintage-style postcards were used as the meal choice card also acted as the RSVP for guests. She used a Muslin fabric piece on top of the invite with a piece of twine tying the whole package together. Instead of using standard stamps, the bride bought all vintage stamps from “Bid-Start” online. Each stamp had special meaning: i.e.The stamps featured Ohio, California, Rescue Dogs, Sequoia trees, nature and love of course.

And now, the wedding, FINALEMENT!!!! :)

So, do tell me….

1) Do you have any particular thoughts about that little story of mine from my flight back from WPPI?

2) And hey, HOWZABOUT THIS HERE WEDDING EXPERIENCE, EH?  I’m kind of in shock right now over the look of those identical floral print bridesmaids’ dresses all in a row.  The symmetry of it– I just– I can’t– I’m really into the look of those bridesmaids dresses.

xoxo  - Alison

Creative Design and Event Styling: A Charming Fête / Photography: RAD Photographer / Ceremony, Reception and Catering: The Club at Hillbrook / Gown: Tara Keely / Flowers: A Charming Fête / Rental Equipment: Event Source / Cake and Cupcakes: Fragapane Bakeries / Videography: Carroll Video and Prduction

Label(s): Color, Green, Multi, Popular *New*, Real Life Issues, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Danielle on February 24, 2012

    what do i think… what do i think…. I think I should’ve made you finish that drink and maybe you WOULD’VE missed the flight and you’d be slightly less traumatized right now. I’ll do better next time. :)

  2. chandra ~ Oh Lovely Day on February 24, 2012

    Firstly, I am in love with this wedding. I just want to live in it :) And that ring shot is my top favorite, like EVER.

    Secondly, that story is heartbreaking. It really angers me the extent that adults can totally eff up their own, or others’ kids. I feel bad for that poor boy, and the poor girl (or boy) that he marries someday. and now I’m totally depressed about this…

  3. Jenny Cormier on February 24, 2012

    Well I think the father is inevitably setting his son up for a life of unhappy failures. Nothing is worth having if you don’t put your whole heart and soul into it , especially in a marriage. Rough times do happen, some longer than others but to say that love doesn’t last is a terrible statement. In fact it won’t last with a perspective like his .

    The wedding is absolutely amazing, I have never read your blog before, but boy I wish I had before I gotten married a year ago. So many wonderful ideas.
    Very inspiring
    And your blog is truly entertaining.

  4. Jessica on February 25, 2012

    First off, wowzers, amazinging, beautiful wedding! I also completely agree that, the ring shot blew me away!

    As for the conversation, I would have had the exact same reaction and would have had to try very hard to keep my mouth shut.

    I, like many, love Love and marriage and read tons of blogs, but relationships are HARD WORK! Really hard work. Not that the work isn’t worth every second, but my parents always told me (they are married 40 years) that it wasn’t all skipping and fairytale’s. They made a commitment to each other and a conscious choice to make their relationship important.

  5. Elaine on February 25, 2012

    love the bridesmaid dresses!!oohh and the tablet numbers are so nice:X

  6. Jenny on February 25, 2012

    Firstly, I am with you on the bridesmaids’ dresses. I know this sounds trite…but these gals can actually wear those babies again…lovely sundresses for the summer! Just the thing i would have worn back before I had kids, back when I had time to shave my legs.

    The florals are absolutely amazing! I keep coming back to the flowers…even the bouts, which are so simple but perfect! Makes me want to plant billy-balls this spring!

    The best part to me, though, is the bit about the wedding favors. Looks like the bride and groom are beautiful people inside and out.

    Now, onto the heavy overheard dad-son conversation…it dismays me. As a mom and a wife it makes me so sad. But, also as a mom and a wife, I know that this magical power to say the right thing at the right time doesn’t automatically appear along with parenthood. So, while Pops sounds like a complete douchebag, I’m also holding out hope that maybe he’ll do a bit of growing and come back to the conversation later with a new perspective. Chances are the kid doesn’t live in total isolation. Maybe he has a great Mom, Grandma, Uncle, Coach, Aunt, Teacher, Grandpa…some other adult figure he is close to who can set him straight about the incredible possibilities that love creates, and that when a union is worked at, love can evolve into something even deeper and more profound. Maybe this kid is going to meet the most wonderful gal in college who will set him straight, and they’ll stay together forever and make sure their grandchildren are taught to cough into their shoulders or elbows.

    Sorry for the novella!

  7. Sabina on February 27, 2012

    I always loved weddings that involve nature and countryside. They look like they had such a wonderful time at their wedding.

  8. Ashley on February 27, 2012

    Hey Alison!!! First, Yeah, I had a “rude awakening” that turned into a very happy awakening when I found out my hubby could do me while asleep. The best part is that you’re both really groggy and you let go of body issues and morning breath issues and just go with it, and it feels amazing, and then you wake up a little, but it still feels amazing, and then you fall right back asleep and THAT feels amazing and you wake up the next morning and you have to stop and think for a minute about whether or not it was just a kick ass dream, and then you’re like “Ahhhh yeeeeaaah, that really happened!” So yes, I’m a huge fan or sleepf***ing!
    Second, I completely agree and sympathize with you about having to sit with this unfortunate pair in the airplane. He clearly sounds like a bitter divorcee who did not appreciate the value of working out his marital issues before calling it quits. This sounds like my husband’s parents.
    Third, I’m not a huge flower fan but this was very tasteful and rustic. I love the chair ribbons, we had chair ribbons but our photog forgot to photog them :( I also love the little pops of color when they pop up, like the dark red celosia.

  9. Nikki on February 27, 2012

    So sad how pessimistic people have become about marriage. I actually read an article the other day on why it makes sense financially “not” to get married. Sadly I agreed with some of the reasons.

    But I wouuuld do anything for looove…

    Those floral dresses are adorable!

  10. Tim Duncan on February 27, 2012

    Love the bridesmaids dresses! I love seeing prints instead of solid colors! So unique!

  11. Ariana on February 27, 2012

    What a sad sad story. But such a beautiful wedding made for a nice palette cleanser! LOVE the plaid tie.

  12. Ilana on February 27, 2012

    It is SO tragic that someone can be jaded by love and marriage to instill in their 11 year old son that (apparently) all love ends and so do marriages by virtue of love ending. However, I would also venture to suggest that maybe he’s one of those individuals who purely functions on decisions made with the head and not with the heart and doesn’t want to sugar coat it. I’m not sure why I’m making excuses for this guy – I hope his son has the opportunity to learn from others or his own experiences that relationships take work and it’s not *just* about being in love.

  13. Wedding Photographer Manchester on February 27, 2012

    I love the matching floral bridesmaids dresses. How unusual to have patterned bridesmaids dresses, they are normally plain. The place setting are also unusual and look really great.

  14. prom dresses on February 29, 2012

    I’m in love with the floral prints dresses!! Stunning and glamorous!! All the details are exquisite absolutely!!

  15. Bespoke Bride on March 3, 2012

    What an absolutely beautiful wedding!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE all of the wooded elements added throughout the day & the bridesmaids dresses were gorgeous!

  16. AWH on March 7, 2012

    The setting is absolutely beautiful. Great photos!

  17. KLA on March 9, 2012

    I am in love with this wedding, the couple, the look, the dresses, all of it. However, I am super spectacularly in love with those shoes… Where oh where did you get them?

  18. Lori on April 6, 2012

    Beautiful wedding!

    Commenting on the divorced father and his son, It can be hard to see any silver lining once you have been so emotionally hurt as going through a divorce. Also, the feeling of wasting that part of your life is overwhelming. He may have just gotten divorced and trying to protect his son from the same pain he is going through

  19. Elle on January 11, 2013

    Gorgeous bride, love her style.

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  23. on April 21, 2013

    Good post, thank you! Can you explain the first paragraph more?

  24. Malaya on April 30, 2013

    That story about your inflight experience is heartbreaking! I just feel like children should be given an honest, yet age appropriate answer, not just saying “people fall out of love”. And that especially breaks my heart that he said that “they’ve only been together for a short while”. Why would it matter how long they have been together? Just makes no sense to me. What’s so sad is that when people do that to their children, it sets them up for hurt later on.

    As for the wedding – holy FLAWLESS! Love it!

  25. This bridesmaids dresses are so different! Love it!

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  28. Lauren at Vows and Valor on April 16, 2015

    Completely obsessed with those floral bridesmaids dresses!

  29. Felix Films on January 15, 2017

    What a sad sad story


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