I got married in June last year (my one year anniversary is almost here!) and enjoyed every bit of my wedding. Of course there were bumps in the road along the way, as there is with any big event that's planned, but at the end of the day, I was completely happy. My hubby and I had a great time and look back with positive thoughts.
There are a ton of great wedding planning tools online. It can even get to be a bit overwhelming with how many sources there are!
I didn't know about etsy's wedding site when I was planning my wedding. Part of me wishes I had known and another part is relieved that I didn't have that many options! There's some great wedding stuff on etsy!
There's also a ton of blogs out there dedicated to wedding planning.
Style Me Pretty
Snippet & Ink
And SO many more!
Here are a few snapshots from my wedding.
What We Wore
I got my dress at David's Bridal. It was the last bridal shop I visited and had the dress I loved the most. When you try on the dress, you just know. I added a broach to the dress to give it a more antique feel. The tuxes were from Men's Wearhouse. There was a rental discount since I bought my dress and David's, and the groom's rental was free. My husband had a black tux with an ivory vest and tie. The groomsmen had black tuxes with purple vests and ties.
The two above pictures are from my bridal portraits taken a couple months before the wedding (that's why my hair and flowers look different!).
My mom made my veil. The necklace is from Dillard's (pearl drop with diamonds). The diamond earrings were my grandmother's that I inherited.
My shoes were purple Carlos Santana shoes-- had to add a pop of fun!
The bridesmaids dresses were also from David's. I picked these out because I thought they were adorable and great for a June wedding. The also fit several body types. The girls wore silver shoes of their choice.
The bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers, and musicians.
I LOVED my flowers! I told the florist that I wanted something wild and carefree with lots of purple. She did exactly that! Check out Jennifer at Twisted Vines if you live in the Texarkana area.
mine (picture taken on cell phone)
the girls' bouquets
My mom and his mom had small bouquets to carry.
My dad walked me down the aisle, gave me away, and performed the ceremony. He was my pastor for, well, my entire life until college, so it only seemed fitting! :) The message was about Jesus' first miracle, which happened at a wedding. Our vows were also written by my dad, not the traditional wedding vows.
We were married in the church I grew up in as a teenager. The lights were dimmed, and we had candles lit around the church. On stage there was some (just a little) greenery and an arbor that my dad built for the wedding. We kept it pretty simple.
All of our music was sung live and played with live instruments. As his parents and his grandparents and my mom were seated, our friends Jim and Josh sang a beautiful song as they played their guitars. You can hear a version of the song (I Have You) on Jim's myspace.
As the groomsmen, then bridesmaids, and then I walked out, my brother Josh sang Sara Groves' Fly as a friend played the piano. I don't have a picture of my brother singing at the wedding, but he's the guy on the far left of this ^ picture.
Our friends Josh and Jim sang again as the wedding party was leaving at the end of the ceremony. They sang their rendition of the Beatles's I've Just Seen a Face, which is a song that Colin played to me to tell me he liked me when we first started dating. The wedding party dance their way out!
The ceremony only lasted about 15 or 20 minutes, but it's because we had only what was most important to us. We wanted our friends to hear the Word and to enjoy some good music-- traits that we hope we share with others in our marriage.
(This picture was taken with my friend's cell phone.)
Something old- My maternal grandmother's wedding band (which is now my wedding band); my paternal grandfather's wedding ring (on my bouquet); my maternal grandfather's handkerchief (on my bouquet)
Something new- My dress!
Something borrowed- My paternal grandmother's wedding ring borrowed from my aunt
Something blue- Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue perfume
The purple flower in the picture is what I wore in my hair to the reception( I took my veil off).
Those are the programs at the top of the picture.
The reception was in the church gym. We decorated it by hanging old windows and keeping an outdoor/country theme.
After we walked into the reception and said hi to a few people, we had our first dance to Norah Jones.
In the background you can faintly see the slideshow that ran. It was pictures of us growing up. We also had music (our favorite songs) playing the entire reception.
The bride's cake was strawberry and the most amazing cake I've ever eaten! If you live around Texarkana, check out the Bakerman on Stateline. Ahhhhmazing! The cake topper is a Willow Tree cake topper.
Colin and I met in college, so his groom's cake was themed around our school!
The dress on the right was my mom's wedding dress (which she made!). The dress on the left was the wedding dress and veil my mom made for me when I was 4 or so. In the far right corner of the picture, there's a shelf where we had a picture of my mom on her wedding day and one of my bridal pictures.
In the bottom of the picture, you see my wedding shoes. I changed into purple flats for the reception!
We also had a separate shelf that had pictures of each of our parents on their wedding days and grandparents.
For the bouquet toss, I made a fake bouquet. That way my real bouquet didn't get messed up and the one who caught it could keep it. My college roommate (who was also a bridesmaid) caught it.
Colin's brother caught the garter. I wore two garters-- one I could keep and one to toss.
One of the wedding party tables with the bouquets.
We served a full meal-- chicken, rice, mashed potatoes, salad, and maybe more! There was sweet tea, punch, and bottled water. Good southern cooking!
Marriage license signed!
We had a packed house for the wedding and reception. Once the reception cleared out some, the band my husband was in in college (the Jim Ranger Band) brought out all their instruments and had a mini reunion!
To Peek or Not to Peek...
Yep, we saw each other before the wedding. We met in the church's lilly garden outside. I never thought I would do this, but boy am I glad I did! We got the moment to ourselves to see each other and to chat. It was a special moment. It also made it where we took all of our pictures before the wedding. That way we could go straight to the reception and people could start eating, and we could talk to them before they left. This was ideal for us, and I have absolutely no regrets. I recommend it!
Colin gave me a beautiful diamond necklace for a wedding present, and I wore it to the reception.
A Great Day
My advice for having a great wedding?
Make the wedding reflect your personality.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Roll with the punches.
Be on the same page as your fiance.
Appreciate your family and friends.
ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!