My Wedding Recap!

As my one year anniversary is coming up (May 18!) – I just realized that I never actually re-capped my wedding on here! Whaaaat?!

I have so many gorgeous photos I have yet to share and figured that as my one year of marriage to my wonderful husband comes to a close- what better time to reminisce and share details of my wedding day! I know you ladies nerd out over this stuff, let’s be real. 😉

First, I want to share some just beyond gorgeous photos from my best friend’s sister and her husband over at H+D Photography- they are family friends and were gracious to gift us with this dual photo session (engagement shots + bridal session) before the wedding. I wanted to get some bridal shots in my dress (from the amazing Irish designer Gibson Bespoke) in front of some gorgeous urban scenery right across from our apartment in the industrial West Midtown district of Atlanta.

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Doesn’t the above photo look like an ad? Haha! We loved this mural and just had to get a photo in front of it, as well as the bumblebee mural.

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With our photos, and our wedding itself- we wanted to really show our love for the city that brought us together. We wanted to exude fun and playfulness- which would be the true representation of ourselves as individuals and as a couple.

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This one is seriously one of my favorites. We love ice cream! 🙂

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My dress was actually purchased through the designer’s Etsy shop online- without me ever having tried it on at all. Risky? Yes. Did it pay off? Absolutely! I knew I didn’t want a traditional gown and the moment I saw the photo of this amazing dress I knew I had to have it. With a few alterations and personal touches (I sewed on the lace panel in the front myself!) it was everything I wanted it to be.

Having had a stint in making/selling accessories, I had a go at creating my own flower crown as well. I bedazzled it a bit to tie in with the sequins. The inspiration for my entire look was taken from a photoshoot I saw on Pinterest with a bride in a similar golden sequined gown in an olive tree meadow. The freshness of the greenery and rustic leaves gave it such a unique feel, rather than going the probably more-expected route of all out glamour and formality. Since our wedding was small and rather informal- I wanted to keep it fresh and fun!

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This mural is one of my favorite parts of the city- so how lucky am I to live DIRECTLY across from it? Very lucky indeed! For my bridal shots I wanted an almost editorial-like feel. Haley definitely captured that in these shots. Since we weren’t able to get any of me or Kyle and I together on the wedding day itself in front of the mural (it rained!) I was so grateful to get these shots.

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The photos on the actual wedding day itself were taken by a college friend of mine, and they also turned out beautifully! As I mentioned, it rained- so many of these photos were actually taken in my apartment complex’s parking lot. YES, really. Haha! Just goes to show you that on the day of your wedding- be prepared for anything. In the moment I was pretty annoyed, but it still ended up being just fine. 🙂

 

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Kyle looked so handsome in his suit! 🙂

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I just love the juxtaposition of glamour and concrete.

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The groomsmen at least got some shots with the mural before it started pouring down.

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Our venue was the cutest little chapel-turned-event space/art gallery, Blue Mark Studios.  It doubled as both the ceremony AND reception venue! For this bride on a budget- I was thrilled with this. I found an excellent warehouse for decor called Eclectia that supplied string lights, fabric, etc. but I made the wreath myself!

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Another DIY victory- I was able to get all my fresh flowers from Dekalb Farmer’s Market for around $100. I went with a white/green theme as I just love the freshness of it! My Mother in law, and a couple bridesmaids and I spent the night before making all the bouquets/boutonnieres.

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My mom made the “official” wedding cake, and we also had goodies from a local bakery to provide a grooms cake and cupcakes. These are key lime. Yummo!

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This wedding was not the most serious of weddings, clearly!

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Our first dance was to Michael Jackson’s “Love Never Felt So Good.” It was a fun first dance, nothing too overly sappy.

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Kyle and I have a pretty large beer bottle collection, as we are both craft beer enthusiasts- and he also homebrews. So we figured- why not use them as part of the decorations? We ended up de-labeling tons of beer bottles and left the ones with the best label designs. Guests took a bottle/vase and flower home as their favor.  They were a hit!

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You could say craftiness runs in my family- my mom made these gorgeous pomanders for the ceremony.

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My mother and grandmother are so gorgeous!

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So is my mother in law!

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One of my FAVORITE moments of the entire night- my grandmother who flew in from Germany and Kyle’s grandfather, dancing their hearts out to “Superfreak.” My grandmother is in her eighties and his grandfather is approaching 90. They are a hoot.

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And finally, one of my favorite shots from the post-ceremony. EXCITED YEAHH!

All, in all, it was a fantastic day.

My advice to fellow brides?

1.) DO NOT make things hard on yourself. Don’t try to do everything all alone. You WILL need help!

2.) Don’t be afraid to look for discounts for fear of being looked as “tacky.” Girl- if there was a wedding tacky police, they probably would have nailed me on many counts. Beer bottles as vases? Homebrew/Homemade wine as the beverages? A sequin dress? Using half silk/half real flowers for bridesmaid bouquets? TACKY.COM. Right? Except it wasn’t. Just do your own thing! Don’t be afraid of deviating from tradition a bit as long as it’s what YOU want.

3.) Remember- at the end of the day, you are getting MARRIED. Celebrate your husband, your marriage, your new family. The wedding shouldn’t be treated as a magazine photoshoot. Don’t stress over primping yourself 24/7. Just try to relax and have fun!

 

The first batch of photos were from H+D Photography, and the second were from Libba Beaucham Photography.

Wedding Inspiration- Garden Glamour. Ooh la la!

If you’ve been following me on Twitter or know me in real life, you may already know that I’m getting married next May! (wee!) Of course, me being the crafty, creative, frugal person I am, I’ve decided to DIY everything. And yes, that’s pretty much everything.

I’m making my own invitations/stationery, decorations, flowers, veil, bridal accessories, and probably more. But hey! I like doing those things so it’s okay. I actually really love a challenge, and being able to make things personal and 100% unique. Plus- we’re on a budget and in case you didn’t hear, weddings these days average at around $20,000 a pop. Crazy, huh? Thankfully, Kyle doesn’t really mind what kind of budget-queetn shenanigans I  get into, and our parents don’t mind either, so I’m able to let my mind roam free!

Naturally, I’ve been scrolling Pinterest like a crazy woman these past few months, trying to get some inspiration without trying to get told what I “should” and “should not” do.  Nothing wrong with mason jars and chalkboards, but I feel like I want to think outside the box a little bit. I’m a pretty good Pinterest searcher as far as finding specific things, so I was able to really come across some things that have helped me develop a good aesthetic to play off of!

I will say A HUGE part of my design inspiration is actually my dress. I’m obsessed with my dress. My dress is the dress to end all dresses. This dress makes me happy. I want to wear it around the apartment.

Now I’m not going to reveal it here or anything, but I will just say it has an unusual element that has really helped me get the gears rollin’ on some designing ideas! But I’ll let you guys see that in a few months, don’t worry 😉

Below I wanted to share an inspiration board I made as I’m thinking of my veil/floral design. I love the idea of a green garden paired with elegant tulle and sparkles, so I named this “Garden Glamour,” because that’s pretty much the style I want to evoke! Our wedding is not going to be black-tie formal in any way, but I still want things to be pretty, fresh, and modern.

gardenglamourbouquet | table | long veil | bride | love sign | bouquet/dress | sequin table | flower crown bride | green crown

I thought a flower crown veil was such an amazingly unique idea and I’m excited to take that project on! Yes, there are some truly talented wedding accessory designers that have some pre-made veils, but the fact that I can just…buy the fabric and supplies myself and do it for hundreds cheaper….I just couldn’t pass that up. At least I have some experience in creating hair accessories- I even had a brief stint as an etsy seller until I decided I didn’t want to do it all the time.

Also, I want to make the veil detachable, so I can have it for the ceremony, and leave just the flower crown for the reception.  Even though this idea is little unusual, I think it’s exactly what I want to do to be able to incorporate  elements of the traditional (white veil) with the offbeat (flower crown.)

I also wanted to focus on greenery instead of flower buds, because I think the green is just so,  I don’t know. Refreshing! Any other floral accents will mainly be white, with a few red/orange/yellow flowers interspersed throughout, similar to the beer bottle vase photo up at top (which we also will incorporate!). Baby’s breath or peony (if I can find some silk peonies, that is!) are my preferred white flowers to use.

In my bouquet, I’m also thinking of incorporating some fresh herbs such as rosemary and sage. Tie it all together with a white silk ribbon and exposed stems. Doesn’t that sound just so lush? It’s going to smell amazing, at least 🙂

Anyhow, I’m excited to finally have a sort of vision of all the design details, because that was alluding me for awhile. Some of my original visions were a little “too” glitzy and glamorous for our venue and the nature of our wedding. I’m really hoping for that perfect balance of romance, glamour, and whimsy, and I think this route is going to get me there!

Did I mention I got a lot of my supplies at the Dollar Tree? For the record, their silk flowers are pretty much the same quality as Michael’s. And I’m not using real flowers because HAVE YOU RESEARCHED HOW EXPENSIVE THAT IS. Yeah, no. No pretty, expensive flowers that are just going to be thrown away the next day for me. This girl is NOT down with that.

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My cat Curry being glamorous amongst the tulle

As I create my projects I’ll be sure to post my progress! I’m excited to take you all on this journey with me. 🙂

HEY! I’M AN INDEPENDENT, DRIVEN CAREER WOMAN- AND I’M EXCITED ABOUT MY WEDDING. SUE ME.

First Dance
So This article has been going around lately.

Entitled, “Let’s Ban Weddings and Baby Showers-“ It’s preeety much a  manifesto against the modern wedding, saying, “I swear, weddings are the leading cause of divorce. If some girl wasn’t fulfilling her childhood fantasy of being a princess, holding court in the perfect gown with the perfect hair and perfect flowers, on a day dedicated solely to celebrating her ability to land a man, how much more effort would she put into finding the right mate, since the reward for doing so would be a lifetime together, rather than a coronation?”

Whoa. Hold up a second.

Seeing that I’m planning a wedding at the moment- I just have to express a slight disagreement with articles like this, especially as its so apropos to my life currently.

A “coronation?” Really?

You know- let me just say I actually never dreamed of “the perfect wedding” my whole life as a little girl. So much so that now that it’s time to actually plan MY OWN wedding- it’s a little bit, well- overwhelming!

[And what’s more- let it be known that I despise the wedding “industry.” The driving force that makes you feel like you have to have chiavari chairs, a gazillion diy Pinterest crafts and 1,000 mason jars with those little stripey straws (I hate those.), an insanely expensive dress, the $70/a plate dinner, the feature post on Style Me Pretty, etc. All of those things are kinda unnecessary if you ask me.]

But hey- if it makes someone happy? Then go for it. Personally, I’d rather have a taco bar and have homebrew beer. (Yes these are actual plans we’re making) Needless to say- I’m definitely going to be an unconventional bride. But that doesn’t mean even I should judge a more traditional one just because that’s what she wants.

Iit’s frustrating to see so many articles these days bashing weddings and marriage and making fun of engagement posts, etc. because you know- I’ve BEEN in the position to have horrible relationship experiences, I’ve BEEN the bitter person who thought I’d be destined for cat-lady-dom. I’ve BEEN the girl who thought getting married was just “settling.” I probably would have written one of these articles myself at some point in my life.

Basically, I used to always put my career/studies first. Dealt with a few jerks. After I graduated college, I moved to the city and got an apartment on my own. I was independent! I was fearless!

And I was really lonely.

The funny thing is- since being with my current fiance- he’s helped me change the snarky, selfish outlook I once had.  My career has actually PROPELLED significantly, and I’ve developed new thoughts and goals I’ve never had before. He encourages me. We work together as a team and help each other succeed. It’s not just “settling” for this quaint, domestic life that so many people like to think. (And who am I to judge anyone for wanting a quaint, domestic life, anyhow?)

No- marriage shouldn’t be about settling, but I think it’s about about finding that person that can help you grow into someone you never thought you would be! It’s not about giving up adventures, but about having someone to go on adventures WITH. I will be honest with you and say I wouldn’t have progressed as much as I have now if it wasn’t for Kyle in my life! I actually wouldn’t have this blog at all, I guarantee you that! 

All of these negative, judgmental blog articles that have come out recently fail to see that there are SO many ways to grow as a person- single OR not single. It doesn’t matter! Just because I’m getting married doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into June Cleaver or anything. Marriage is not going to be my entire identity. But it’s an awesome thing to let another person in completely in that way and it’s a chapter of life that I’m excited about and actually ready for. (And yes, you should be READY for it. But who am I to say what age one is ready?)

I feel like at this point in my life with all the crap I’ve gone through, gosh darnit- I’m allowed to enjoy finding a guy who I feel like I can spend the rest of my life with!

Our wedding will be small, but it’s still a wedding. It’s a celebration of 2 families coming together and I’m so grateful for that. No, it’s not going to be extravagant, but it will be beautifully personal. It’s not about fulfilling any stupid princess fantasy- to me it’s about having a big ole’ party with all of our closest family and friends.  And I don’t even think the wedding is the “brides day.” It’s for both of us. For our families.

And no,  I don’t feel like it’s an “accomplishment” to get a man. I just happened to find someone that will put up with my craziness while helping me be a better person. And I think that’s enough to be celebrated!

So while yes, I agree that 
many people focus too much on the wedding and not on the marriage, this isn’t the case with everyone. We just have to be careful to generalize ALL brides because we’re not all crazy.
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I promise.

And as a disclaimer, no I don’t think marriage will solve all your problems, nor should be it be something women should *aspire* to, necessarily. Just do what’s right for you. But don’t feel like just because you’re in a rut- that anyone now getting married is now the spawn of Satan and they’re destined for an unhappy life or is making the worst decision EVER. It’s really not your place to decide that for them.

It’s also important to remember to not be afraid to be vulnerable every once in awhile. You can spend your whole life shutting people out if you’re not careful. It’s not worth it!

Embrace love if you can. That’s always worth it.