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!

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!


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.

wedding feature paper moon weddings

Hop on over there to check it out! :)

Wedding * Bridal Attire

August 16, 2012

One of the most important things surrounding a wedding day (for the bride) is the dress. I had always known what type of dress I wanted — antique lace, fitted, slightly off-white, very elegant and classic. The very first day I went wedding dress shopping (with my older sister in her town just outside Nashville, TN) I found the one. I loved it, but tried on other dresses at other shops and then came back a month or two later with my mom, all my sisters and nieces in tow to try it on again and show them and then we bought it!

It really is a nerve-wracking process! All the lovely gowns to choose from, the beautiful lace and fabrics, the details, it makes the choosing process hard! I originally thought I wanted something with small sleeves, but all the lace sleeves on dresses were so itchy on my skin! The prices on wedding dresses are unbelievable! Such expensive garments for one short day. Plus, after choosing a dress, then seeing other ones, you always start to second guess your decision.

I’m so happy with the dress I chose. I think the price was even worth it in the end. It looked stunning, it was extremely well-made, the lace was so pretty and delicate, the sparkle was perfect, and it fit me perfectly (dresses that lace up to fit you exactly really are the way to go!). I love the fabric flower accent, the scalloped lace hem at the bottom, the gentle flow of the train in the back, and I love the color! (Side note — The Mrs. Rowland hanger was a bridal shower gift, but if you are looking for one, you can find tons of them on Etsy)

The designer of the dress is Maggie Sottero and the name is “Harlow.” It comes in several color options and mine is “Ivory & Champagne lace over Light Gold.” The official description of the gown is: “One-piece, strapless, slim A-line gown with corset closure. This gorgeous Chantilly Lace gown highlighted with beaded embellishments inspires true romance. A satin band and handmade flower create a lovely empire accent.” You can view it online here.

Even though my veil was expensive as well (for just a bit of tulle!) I think it complemented the dress so perfectly and I’m so happy I went with it. I think the length and beaded accent were just perfect. I’m sorry, but I don’t know the name of it. The dress shop that I went to simply tried different veils on me to see which I liked and I forgot to ask the name.

I felt so gorgeous in this gown. That is so key for a wedding day. Choose what you love and what makes you happy. I was worried about the dress being too formal for an outdoor wedding, but I think it turned out lovely.

Our first kiss as husband and wife! Doesn’t the dress look lovely?

The other bridal accessories are important too. I choose to wear sparkly gold pumps. I bought these from the same bridal shop that I purchased my gown and veil from. The shop is called The White Room and you should definitely check it out if you are in the Nashville, TN area. Everyone there was so nice.

Sparkly champagne/gold clutch, perfect for holding my lip gloss and other necessities at the bridal table and my earrings. The clutch I actually found at Payless Shoe Source a few days before the wedding while I was there with my sister looking for shoes for my nieces. The earrings are actually one of the first things I bought for the wedding. I bought them way before I even found my dress. They can be found online here and are from Noon Design Shop in California. Drew’s brother’s girlfriend Trang gave me a coin pearl necklace from Noon a few years ago as a gift, so when we were in California, the winter we got engaged, we visited the shop and I bought this simple, pretty crystal necklace that I wear daily. (I have a gold and a silver version!). I love their jewelry designs. These pearl cluster earrings were perfect for my wedding.

Earrings, clutch, garter — everything went together so well!

I really, really loved my garter. The lace, the sparkle, the pearl — it was all so gorgeous and went so well with my gown and other accessories. I bought it from this shop on Etsy. It also came with a beautiful tossing garter as well. This one looks really similar to mine.

Last but not least — rings! One of the most important accessories of the wedding day! You can read all about ours here. I’m so happy with them. I love my handmade champagne diamond engagement ring and I’m happy I had my promise ring redesigned to use as a wedding ring. I love that it is so sentimental. I also love Drew’s ring we had made by the lady that made my engagement ring and I just love the little heart detail I had her add inside it.

This last picture is one of my favorites from our wedding day. We did most of the pictures beforehand, but took a couple of Drew and I after the ceremony as well. This was taken right after we said “I do” and I just love the way it turned out. Our hands, our rings, my bouquet with my grandmother’s handkerchief and my mother’s brooch — just love it all.

I went simple on my nails. I just polished them with a pretty light pinky/ivory polish from OPI. Actually my older sister quickly polished them while I sat on my old bed in my parents house minutes before we needed to leave for the rehearsal dinner the evening before the wedding. Sweet memories. :)


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.

Wedding * Flowers

August 13, 2012

I’m finally settled back into my house after a nice visit with my family in my hometown. Now for the long awaited wedding series featuring our wedding pictures! I’m so excited today to share with you our wedding flowers!

I love flowers and with a country outdoor wedding, flowers were a really important part of the wedding day for me. I wanted to use flowers that fit into my color scheme and also incorporate in things that held meaning for me.

Peonies are one of my top favorite flowers, so choosing peonies for a late spring wedding was no difficult decision. I love the large size and soft, delicate look of them. I love them here in dark pink, blush pink, and soft white colors. They also were meaningful to me as well. My mom has several peony bushes in her garden. When my little sisters and I were young, we would often play “wedding” in our backyard. We would dress up in white dress-up clothes (an old white lace and sheer nightgown of my older sister’s) and then pick flowers out of the garden to be in our bouquets. I remember picking the soft white peonies off my mom’s peony bush to use in our play wedding bouquets.

Daisies are another favorite flower of mine, so I begged my florist to incorporate those tiny little daisy-like flowers. I love the country wildflower charm they add to the elegant peonies. They are actually a tiny aster called Monte Cosino. I’ve always loved the look of Hypericum berries and I love their yellow-green color and how well it accents the pinks in the bouquet. The addition of sprigs of lavender was such a sweet touch that my florist made and I love that it counted as my something blue! My mom always grew lavender in her garden as well and I remember when I was young we would use it to make lavender ribbon potpourri wands. The greenery is a mixture of variegated pittsoporum and a couple of variegated ivy stems.

My bouquet was wrapped in burlap ribbon (I used burlap fabric for table runners on the tables and on various other things throughout the wedding) and then my Mamaw‘s lace handkerchief was wrapped around it as well. This was really special to me, as it not only counted as my “something old” but was also a sweet, simple reminder to me of my wonderful grandmother and how I’m sure she would have absolutely loved to see me on that day. I’m so happy that I had a way to include her memory into our celebration.

The crystal brooch is my mother’s and was my “something borrowed.” My mom has lots of pretty brooches and I remember her wearing this one a lot when I was younger. The clasp broke, so she hasn’t worn it in a while, but I’m happy we were able to secure it to my bouquet for it to hold a special place in my wedding day.

The bridesmaids all had slightly smaller versions of my bouquet, minus the lavender. Theirs were wrapped in different bits of burlap and lace ribbons.

I love how the colorful bouquets complimented the neutral dresses so well! More about the dresses to come in another post!

I loved the way the guy’s boutonnières turned out as well! Drew’s included a small soft pink peony and was accented with the same accent flowers as the bouquets. I love that they tied into the girl’s flowers without being overly pink and girly looking.

The groomsmen’s boutonnières didn’t include the peony, but simply greenery, lavender and the daisy-like Monte Cosino.

I just can’t get over how well each of the flowers used tied in so well to our elegant but simple country outdoor wedding. I think matching flower types to the theme and scale of the wedding is really key.

The boutonnières for my dad (he was also the minister), my grandpa (who walked me down the aisle), and Drew’s father were different from the others as well. They included greenery, the daisy-like Monte Cosino, and the Hypericum berries. I loved how all the boutonnières went together so well, but were also slightly different for different people in the wedding.

So beautiful, huh? I can’t stop looking back over these pictures and re-living our wonderful wedding day! I’m so happy with how these turned out and how special they were. Can’t wait to show you all the other wedding pictures, including flowers we used on the tables and to decorate the winery!


If you live in the Southern Illinois area and are in need of a wonderful florist, I highly recommend Nadine Williams of Flower Ridge Farm, she does excellent work! Check out her Facebook page, here, or send me an e-mail and I can give you more contact info for her.

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