New year, new post, brand new look — welcome back! I know its been quite some time since I’ve posted, and I think some of that had to do with the fact that I just don’t have as much to say about weddings anymore. Since my last post, my sister got married, and I no longer work in a bridal shop. Kind of hard when the blog is totally focused on weddings, right? I decided to entirely update the look and focus of this blog so I can write about life after “becoming wife.” You can still find all of my previous posts under the Twyf Becomes Wife category, including what the internet has decided is the best thing I’ve apparently ever written.
Since I never got around to sharing my own real wedding, I wanted to do that as a transition into this new stage of my writing. So here it is… the best day of my life.
The Bride: Abbie
The Groom: Brian
Date and location of your wedding: May 3, 2014. Ceremony: The Butler Institute of American Art North Annex, Youngstown, OH. Reception: The Embassy, Boardman, OH.
Tell us about your wedding: I knew it was going to be a very DIY-type wedding. I’m Type A to a fault, Brian is an artist, my mother and sister are both crafty/creative types, and his mother is a terrific baker. Because of this, I tried to get started on things earlier than my normally-procrastinating self would have. (I was mostly successful.) For the colors, we went with navy blue with accents of coral, with the guys in charcoal gray. Since my dress had an all-over leaf and flower (but not really a floral lace) pattern, I wanted to keep things very soft and sort of spring-y.
What about the ceremony? Brian and I didn’t really “belong” to a church in the area (although we have since found one that we enjoy attending), but we both knew we wanted my pastor from home to perform the ceremony. We were married in the North Annex of the Butler Institute of American Art, which used to be a church. Although it is now largely used for university music and theatre performances, it still has the look of a church, with a large, blue stained glass window at the front and a cobblestone aisle. We used non-traditional music for the ceremony; I walked in with my mother to Bob Dylan’s “To Make You Feel My Love,” and Brian and I walked out to The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” Our very pregnant friend, Ruth, was our reader. It rained during the ceremony, and as we were greeting people afterwards, but as soon as we hugged the last person in the line, the sky cleared and we did a very quick run-through of everyone outside of the church.
What was your favorite/funniest moment? Knowing that I probably would have been a sobbing ball of nerves at the ceremony, Brian and I did “first look” pictures in the museum. It was a special and intimate moment, and the photographers gave us a few minutes alone to talk before they brought the rest of the party over. It helped calm my nerves and we were able to get some really nice photos from it. At the reception, something that I’ll never forget is dancing to “Shout” (by The Isley Brothers) and having all of our friends and loved ones dancing in a circle around us. One of the things I worried about was that no one would dance at our wedding, which really, was completely unfounded — they all danced so much we ended up buying more time from the DJ and our hall!
Challenge Accepted: Its hard for me to just “use what’s out there” — I’m too 1) hands-on; 2) Type A; and 3) cheap to just use over-priced, pre-made things that are just “okay.” With the help of gracious family members and friends, we DIY-ed: Save the Dates (PicMonkey & VistaPrint), invitations (Cards & Pockets, Microsoft Publisher), centerpieces (Dollar Tree, Oriental Trading, and… nature), all bouquets and floral arrangements (Costco.com and JoAnn Fabrics), the cake (his mom, Marie), ceremony decor (built by Brian or spray-painted by me), and reception decor (yard sales, stuff from home, and Goodwill). About the only thing I didn’t make by hand were the rally towel favors, but I designed the logo and had them printed at a local t-shirt shop.
What would you definitely do again? What would you change? Well, I know I would for sure marry Brian again! It really is hard to think of anything I would change. We were both so happy with the day and all of the love we felt. I definitely would have booked a different location for my hair and make-up appointments. They seemed to have no respect for the time and I ended up being a half hour late to the church to start taking our photos (another reason I’m so glad we did photos first… there was a little bit of cushion time). I had to have my make-up retouched by my matron of honor since I cried while driving from the appointment. There are a few photos I wish I’d had taken, but other than those two things… I was extremely pleased with it all.
Your advice: Think outside the box for decorations and you can save a ton of money. We got SO MANY flowers through Costco’s website that I ended up having a hard time thinking of ways to use them all. The Dollar Tree was another amazing resource for vases and other decor needs. If you have any steps to walk up in your dress, make sure you practice. I ended up loosing a little too much weight just before the wedding and I kind of had a difficult time getting up the steps at the beginning of the ceremony because the dress was falling off of me, in a sense. Send out Save the Date postcards — they’re far cheaper to send out than a card in an envelope. Encourage your partner to find some areas that they are passionate about and let them focus on it. After seeing a previous wedding in the same space, Brian decided we needed some kind of arch to stand under… so he built one.
What was the most important thing you learned from your wedding? I think one of the best things we did was to take a minute to stand back by the bar of our reception and just watch everyone else dancing, talking, laughing, and enjoying themselves. It let us “capture the moment” and see what our reception was like for everyone else, as we were more or less the center of it for the rest of the time. Don’t feel bad about asking for help; I’ve always struggled with this. People want to help — just give them direction and examples. We have friends and family who really love us and wanted us to have a beautiful wedding day, and we appreciate them and all of their patience and efforts.
Vendors you wouldn’t mind recommending:
Photographer: Limelight Images (Check them out in my vendor spotlight, featuring our engagement photos!)
DJ: Brandon from Brooks Music (My family was so happy with him that my sister hired him for her wedding this past spring. Honestly, I should do a vendor post about them because they were wonderful!!)
Reception Hall: The Embassy
Invitation Supplies: Cards & Pockets
Wedding Headpiece: Pomp & Plumage