Sep 10, 2011
Here are the pictures I found throughout the wedding planning process that ended up really inspiring me! I've included how the actual item turned out so you can see the process! (There are a few more in the DIY section!)
The FG dress:
If you can see the cute little bow MIL made out of extra BM dress material!
It was important to us that the gifts to our bridal party and family were kind of special and unique. His guys in particular are so not the traditional beer stein or money clip sort!
For the guys we ended up going with leaather coolers that look like lunch bags. They are insulated and can be used as a manly lunch sack, or there is a removal holder for a six pack! We had them mongrammed with each guys initials and Jake filled each one with the specific guys' favorite beverage :)
It took me a long time to find something suitable for my girls. I ended up getting them cute little tote bags with each of their names, and inside I put a little silver jewelry box that had their name engraved on it, and inside that I put the necklace I wanted each of them to wear! I waited until the store on theKnot.com had a huge sale, and then I got the bags and the boxes pretty cheaply! I recommend!
I got my FG the same type of tote, but it was smaller and had a little bear inside that said "Flower Girl!" and a little fingernail polish set.
The ushers were only 11 and 13, we were really unsure what to get them and so settled on Itunes gift cards because that is what they are really into right now. They loved them!
Our parents refused gifts. They put their foot down and said they wanted to help us, their contributions to the wedding were their gift to US, and it didn't make any sense for us to spend $$ on them. We were touched, but we ignored them and got them a little something anyway! MIL got a cute little kitchen utensil holder in the shape of the bear figurines she collects, and my parents each got a bottle of their favorite wine :)
Looking back on the wedding planning experience, I learned a ton. But if I had to pick THE most important lessons I took away from it all, it would be these.
Number 1 - Don't feel you need a theme. I drove myself nuts for quite a while trying to find a theme for my wedding, something to tie it altogether. I had all these ideas that seemed so random and I didn't want my wedding to seem disjointed and thrown together. For example, I have always been in love with lime green. It wouldn't have been right if I didn't work it in somehow! I ended loving the green and pink combo, but my wedding was in September. I was super worried that I was doing spring colors in fall, and having an outdoor wedding - what if the leaves were changing?! Add to that the fact that I fell in love with stargazer lilies, which look tropical, but the ceremony was going to be in Iowa at an old mansion. It felt sort of schizophrenic and ill-conceived to me, especially after seeing all these brides with elaborate themes. My dilemma was that I didn't want to give up anything I really liked, but I couldn't see a way to make it all work. As it turns out, it all worked well and I was worried for nothing!
I kept the green and pink running throughout, that's the closest I got to a theme!
I do think picking out colors is important, but once you have that done, everything else will come together if you can include those colors in small amounts throughout. Looking back on my pictures and video, and remembering the day, I had a wedding that was perfectly me! It was a little vintage, a little rustic, a little garden...and I had the bright green I had always dreamed of that flowed through everything! It didn't matter that I had supposedly 'spring' colors in fall. My advice to do what YOU want, go with your gut and you'll know if something isn't working. If you don't get that feeling, it will all turn out well in the end because the main thing is that you are happy and enjoying yourself!
Number 2- Don't be afraid to voice your opinion and make changes if you are unhappy. As you can see from my hair and makeup trial...it wasn't the greatest. I wasn't that impressed but I went by myself and was afraid of sounding rude and Bridezilla-like...so I didn't say anything at the time. I went home and hoped that I would get used to the look and would like it. It didn't get any better. The makeup was starting to run by the time I made it home and I just wasn't impressed with the hair even though I wore it all night.
I'm pretty basic with my hair and makeup on a day-to-day basis, so those of you who are better versed in this kind of stuff won't have these issues...but for anyone new or less experienced in lots of makeup, this is the best thing I did for my wedding! I worried and worried about how I would look on the big day...hair and makeup are kind of important! :) But I decided I didn't care if my stylist thought I was being difficult, I wanted to look my best.
So... I did some research ahead of time, I asked a bunch of people how they thought my trial compared to my vision and what I should do to change it for the better and made a list of the suggestions to talk about with my stylist.
I also did my homework on makeup and what I could do for my skin in preparation. I found out about facial primer (who knew?) and that I should have Photo-Ready foundation. I went to the salon armed with this stuff and had her apply it to my satisfaction...while having all my BMs there to make sure I didn't look orange, cakey, etc. Then I let her go nuts with my eyes, I wanted them to pop!!
I also took a leap the day of and asked her to change my hair...which also worried me because we hadn't practiced the new look and what if I hated it more?
As it turned out, the stylist made my hair look almost exactly like my vision...I was never sure why she didn't just do it in the first place, but the point is things can be changed for you! And my skin looked flawless, it's never looked as good as it did on my wedding day! Not only that, but my makeup lasted all day and into the night with only minor touch-ups needed!
I am SO pleased with how my look turned out, it's something I will have to remember forever in pictures and I would have been devastated if I couldn't look back and love it.
I encougrage every bride not happy with their look to reevaluate and figure out what you don't like, then speak out!! It's so worth it and you deserve it!
My before and after: (note that the before is the first trial, WITH makeup!)
The Bridal Party entrance:
Ushers and FG
BM and GM
BM and GM/MOH
We are so lucky to have such great, caring, people in our family. My MOH is also my cousin and my best friend, no one could have captured what that day meant to me in such a way as she. It was funny, poignant and simply amazing! DH's best man was his brother, who is normally such a shy person that I was curious to see what his speak would be like. It was short and to the point, and awesome! I felt so loved hearing these people speak for, to and about us.
Not many people got to see us cut the cake because the DJ really wasn't on top of things...but that's a rant for a different section! We got some awesome pictures, the cake looked and tasted great and that's all that matters!
The First Dance!
Father-Daughter Dance: This was especially personal for me because my Dad and I share a great love of music, and we danced to a song that he first played for me when I was very little and I fell in love with way back then. We have video of me when I was no more than 3 or 4 being held by my Dad, and we are dancing and singing to John Mellencamp's 'Cherrybomb"...so that is the song we chose as our first dance!! It's very unconventional, but so are we! We are definitely not the "Butterfly Kisses" type, so this was perfect in so many ways!!
Mother-Son (she wouldn't let us take too many pictures, they are not the dancing type and were really uncomfortable!)
SOMEONE refused to take the garter off with his teeth, so I had to show him the surprise I had for him!!! The JD garter :)