Drew and I have been married for two years today! (together for almost 7 years!) I blogged in more detail about the flowers, the bridal attire, the bridal party, and many of the DIY wedding projects I did, but then I got busy with school and never ended up posting about the rest of our wedding day. I’m sure if I had posted this two years ago it would be much more detailed, but here is a little recap of our lovely wedding day: (click to enlarge photos)

Photography by the wonderful Stephanie Susie of Stephanie’s Photography. See more of her work, here.

Summary of the day:

I woke up at my parent’s house that morning at around 6 am. My dad had a quick chat with me about the ceremony plans and then I washed my face, brushed my teeth, and grabbed my travel bag with my essentials in it and headed to town to meet Drew for a super quick breakfast before my hair appointment. We exchanged gifts with each other and talked about how excited we were. I had to rush out before I even had time to eat much because I was already late for my hair appointment. I got my hair done, then met my two younger sisters, Kelsey and Jillian, and my two best friends, Tonya and Jessica, at Dream Baskets in town. The girls had grabbed the box of sandwiches/chips/cupcakes from Julie (of Dream Baskets who was catering our wedding) for our lunch and then we headed out to the winery (Bella Terra Winery in Creal Springs, IL about an hour from our hometown) in a long caravan. I was driving Mom’s minivan loaded completely full of all the wedding decor and accessories.

The girls and I spent the rest of the morning decorating the winery–moving tables, putting out tablecloths & burlap table runners, filling glass jars with sand and candles, setting up the marriage advice/sign-in table, hanging curtains on the pergola, etc. Drew’s parents, two of his nephews, Taylor and Bryce, and my cousins Rick, Neva, and Gail all came out to help. Once decorating seemed under control, the girls and I went downstairs to do our make-up and finish getting ready (Blair and Evie showed up around then).  Drew and the groomsmen showed up at some point around then too and spent a lot of the morning drinking and playing bocce ball outside. The guys went downstairs to get ready while the girls were taking pictures outside. After all the bridesmaids and groomsmen photos were taken, Drew and I had our “first look” photos. I’m so glad we did photos before the wedding because the winery wasn’t a huge space and it was hard to hide from each other. It was also really nice to do all of the bridal party and most of the couple photos earlier in the day so that we didn’t have to worry about taking pictures after the ceremony while guests were waiting on us. Our wedding ceremony wasn’t until around 6:30 at night, so if Drew and I hadn’t seen each other beforehand we would have barely seen each other at all on our wedding day.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous and the temperature was perfect (it was in the 70s). The ceremony was so beautiful and meaningful. My grandpa walked me down the aisle and my dad officiated the ceremony and told funny stories about us. Afterwards we took a few more photos as the sun set while everyone else started eating. Our food was fabulously done by Julie Kuppart of Dream Baskets and was a buffet consisting of some of our favorites: stir-fry chicken and vegetables, fettuccine Alfredo, Texas potatoes, several different salads, rolls, and an assortment of cheeses, veggies, and fruits. Our cake was simple (four tiers with loosely frosted white icing with fresh peonies stuck into it) and was made of several different flavors–chocolate, lemon with raspberry filling, white with strawberry filling, Italian creme cake, and Drew’s favorite marble cake. I had pre-made gallons of banana punch to be served with it. We also had the bar open serving lots of wine and sangria. My sister, Blair, and Drew’s brother, Wes, both gave speeches that made us laugh and cry. The evening was gorgeous with our DIY candle luminaries lighting up the outside and the music and dancing were so much fun (we had a violinist play at the ceremony but a DJ for the rest of the evening). The whole day went by so fast and Drew and I drove off from the wedding late that evening with a car packed to the brim full of presents with “Just Married” written across the back and cans tied to the back of the car (which we promptly stopped down the road and cut off because they were so loud). We spent the entire hour drive to our bed and breakfast replaying over the day and excitedly chatting about how well everything went.

Favorite Moments:

-Breakfast that morning with Drew and chatting about our excitement for the day. I wish this moment had been a little longer, but it was nice to have a sweet, quiet moment to reflect on the day and the meaning of it together before all the busy, craziness of the day set in.
-The unbelievably awesome weather and our awesome venue with such pretty views.
-Decorating and finally seeing all the elements I’d worked so hard on come together.
-Seeing everyone smiling, laughing, dancing and having a great time.
-Stories of my niece, Gigi, the flower girl, walking down the aisle and dumping all her petals in a pile at the end (I didn’t see since I was inside waiting to walk out).
-Walking down the aisle with my grandpa.
-Having my dad officiate the ceremony and dancing with him afterwards to Adele singing Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” (the song was a little surprise I had for him and he teared up).
-Spending the day with all my favorite people.
-Sweet little meaningful and DIY wedding details.
-Finally being married to my awesome husband and our utter excitement at the day having gone so wonderfully!

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I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! I really love Thanksgiving and think it is such a needed holiday. Everyone needs to be reminded of all they have to be thankful for and I’m happy that Thanksgiving gives us a chance to focus on our blessings from God.

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Isn’t that table gorgeous? I love it! My dad just put it into the kitchen of my childhood home and it is over 100 years old! It is the old meeting table of our local Moose lodge that my great-grandpa Wallace was a part of. I love the imperfection and character of it.

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As I get older, it seems our Thanksgiving traditions seem to flux and change with different family needs. I really love tradition though, so I’m happy that it seems I’m still able to cherish traditions while also making way for new ones as well.

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My younger sisters, my husband and I made Thanksgiving for our family. I love cooking and we had a great time getting everything together. We made most of the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but the majority of everything we made was gluten-free. Mashed potatoes, homemade turkey gravy, baked sweet potatoes, roasted asparagus with Parmesan cheese, caramelized broccoli with garlic, GF cornbread, baked ham, deep fried turkey, sweet tea, and my Mamaw’s apple salad. Kelsey and Jill also made crescent rolls, apple dumplings, and pies that weren’t gluten-free. I was traveling there the day before or else I would have made GF pies (I just didn’t eat any, I ate apple salad for dessert instead).

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My younger sisters and I with my grandpa (above) and my dad (below).

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It was also nice to get to visit and chat with one of my best friends, Tonya, and her mom while I was in town.

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I also made a leftover turkey pot-pie complete with a homemade GF pie crust, rolled out with a can of tomatoes. I also got to visit Fergus, my little sister, Jill’s, goat, who has packed on a little winter weight since I saw him this summer.

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That weekend we also had a wedding celebration to help out with and attend for Drew’s brother, Wes, and his wife, Trang.

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Drew made (and hauled all the way from New Orleans) two different home-brewed beers and a homemade Root Beer.

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It was  a lovely and fun evening with friends and family under glowing twinkly lights.

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Since we live in New Orleans, ten hours away from the rest of our families, it is always such cherished time when we are back in our familiar hometown, back in the country where you can see all the stars at night. I’m so thankful for my family and I’m so happy I got to spend much-needed time with them. I only wish it was longer! Christmas will be here soon though!

How was your Thanksgiving?

This past weekend I had the honor of standing up with my best friend from high school, Tonya, as she married the love of her life. (sorry for bad iPhone photos! I was too busy decorating and such to drag around my DSLR)

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I love weddings and this one will always be special to me. Tonya helped me implement a lot of the details for my own wedding last summer and I did the same for her this summer. Helping her plan and decorate and everything was kind-of like re-living my own wedding over again! It was so much fun.

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Tonya is super creative and put together lots of super fun details into the decor! Her brother cut all the stumps and tree slices for her and her and her mom painted them with sayings and chalkboard paint for signs. Her mom also grew all the fresh herbs in little pots and also grew sunflowers that were scattered around as well. The tables were all decorated differently with a combination of old books, glass jars (leftover from my wedding!) that instead of filling with sand and then candles, she filled with wheat berries and soybeans (her family farms) and candles, thrifted candelabras (spray painted in her colors) and a collection of other lamps and birdcages. They had several old doors and old windows that they re-purposed into backdrops and message boards.

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This old window turned chalkboard message board was one of my favorites. Tonya has great handwriting.

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I also loved this old frame turned chalkboard wedding program. Such a great idea to let guests know who is meaningful to your special day without spending the extra money to print out programs for every guest.

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Another of my favorite little details was this tree stump (Tonya’s brother cut for her) that she stripped and woodburned her and Peter’s initials into. It was right next to the old ladder turned arbor that she got married under. This picture was taken as we were decorating, but for the wedding, there were also plants surrounding it as well. I love this! I think it would be such a cute side table in her house now!

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This photobooth was the best! The guests loved it! The backdrop Tonya made from old doors, she made the tissue paper pom poms herself, as well as all the cute little props!

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Here you can see the dresses, flowers, arbor and church setting.

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Happy couple! (and more reception decorations)

One of my favorite things that I was able to help with was designing all the wedding stationary:

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Some of my favorite designs to date!

Congratulations to Tonya and Peter!

Our first anniversary was on June 2nd! Can you believe that Drew and I have already been married for over a year!? Ahh, so crazy! I was planning to do an anniversary post over here that day, but I was off to Puerto Rico with my family (more on that later). I still haven’t finished up my series of wedding posts I started last summer, but I’ll finish those eventually. Today, I’m excited to announce that our wedding is being featured on the wedding blog, Paper Moon Weddings.

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Hop on over there to check it out! :)

Wedding * Bridal Party

August 20, 2012

So we’ve covered the flowers and the bridal gown & accessories, now let’s move on to the bridesmaids and groomsmen’s attire!

The bridesmaid’s dresses were made by my mom. It really was the only way to go for me, because my older sister was pregnant and had her baby just a couple months before the wedding (so it would have been impossible to guess her size beforehand on any store bought dress) and my seven-year-old niece, Evie, was one of the bridesmaids (it would have been equally impossible to find a dress for her that matched any older girl dress styles in any store). Along the way, we had a few disagreements amongst us all about what the dresses should look like/be made out of, but in the end I think they turned out great.

I knew all along that I wanted to go with a neutral color for the bridesmaids dresses (I think brightly colored bridesmaids dresses can be distracting and take attention away from the attire of the bride), but also because I love the way they look simple, sophisticated and classy. I wanted the flowers to be the pop of color. I picked out a light champagne colored linen (it was a linen blend, to help reduce the amount of wrinkling — I liked the feel and texture of the fabric and felt it was much more flattering than a shiny taffeta-like fabric that most bridal stores sell bridesmaids dresses made out of) and we accented the dresses with champagne colored satin, tulle, and sequined fabric. I love the way the several different fabrics were incorporated differently into each dress.

I decided to go for a similar-but-different dress style and allow each girl to design the style of her dress. I’m happy that I was able to go this route and allow all my bridesmaids to pick something to wear that they were comfortable in. I was told by several people that they “could really see the personalities of each of the bridesmaids in their dresses”. The top of my older sister’s dress was even made to allow her to easily nurse baby Jackson.

I had each girl pick her own shoes as well. My only stipulation was that they be either gold, champagne, or cream colored and be some kind of heel, fancy sandal, or ballet flat. My two younger sisters and my nieces even found gold/champagne glittery shoes similar to mine. My older sister’s cream colored shoes (the third from the left) are the same shoes she wore for her own wedding day.

I told each bridesmaid to choose her own jewelry as well, just to keep it classy and neutral (gold, silver, rhinestones or pearls — no bright colors) and choose whatever she thought would go well with the style of her dress. All nails were painted either a neutral color or any shade of pink. I also told them to each do their hair however they liked. I think they all did a fabulous job with hair, shoes, and accessories!

I do really think that the personality of each of these wonderful ladies shone through their attire. Their dresses, shoes, accessories, hair, etc really did highlight each of them well. They picked things that I imagined that they would.

Speaking of them, I never properly introduced them. From left to right — my older sister, Blair, my college friend, Jessica, my younger sister, Kelsey, me, my youngest sister, Jillian, my childhood friend, Tonya, and my niece, Evie. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to share one of the most special days of my life with these wonderful ladies. :)

Look how sassy my niece, Evie, is! So funny! I love all these pictures.

The littlest lady of the wedding day was my lovely two-year-old niece, Georgiana, the flower girl. Isn’t she adorable? My mom made her dress as well, out of the same materials as the big girls’ dresses. My mom actually made that basket too (sewing and basket-weaving are two of her many talents), and both the basket and the flower in her hair are the same ones that Evie used several years ago when she was a flower girl in her parent’s wedding. I love that we incorporated those same things into my wedding.

Now on to the boys!

First, to introduce them. From left to right — (in the photo above) my older brother, Blake, Drew’s older brother, Doug, Drew’s childhood friend, Ryan, then Drew of course, then Drew’s oldest brother, Robbie, Drew’s older brother, Wes, then Drew’s work friend, Yutaka.

We went with grey tuxes for all the guys (black seemed too harsh a color for a country, outdoor wedding) with an ivory/cream color tie and vest. I actually originally planned to have only Drew in the cream color and I picked out a champagne colored vest and tie for the groomsmen to tie better into the bridesmaids dresses, but I ended up changing it a month or so before the wedding. The bridesmaids dresses weren’t done yet, and I was worried the champagne color wasn’t going to be the right color. I wish I had stuck with it, I think it would have looked better overall, but it’s not that big of a deal.

I love these silly shots of them! In the one below, they are all freaking out over Drew’s wedding ring, except that we took pictures before the ceremony and I forgot to give him the ring to wear for the picture! Oh well, it is still funny!

All of us:

So happy to have had all of these incredible people be a part of our lives and a part of our wedding day. :)

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All pictures taken by the wonderful Stephanie Milligan of Stephanie’s Photography. I highly recommend her if you are in need of a wonderful photographer! Check out her website, here.

To read about our wedding flowers, check out this post. To read about my bridal attire, check out this post.